NEW DELHI :
The Supreme Court on Friday granted a mediation committee time till 15 August to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution to the Ayodhya land dispute.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices S A Bopde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer passed this order after it received a request from Justice FM Khalifula, chairman of the Ayodhya land dispute mediation committee, who had sought the extension in order to conclude proceedings.
The apex court had on 8 March constituted a panel comprising retired Supreme Court Justice FM Khalifullah, Sri Sri Ravi Sankar and Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu for mediation of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case. The court had directed in-camera mediation proceedings to be held in Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh.
The Supreme Court stated today that the mediation committee had submitted a report on 7 May. The court just observed that the panel was optimistic about ongoing mediation and hence it was being granted more time. The parties have been directed to prepare their cases within eight weeks.
Fourteen appeals had been filed in the Supreme Court against the 2010 judgment of the Allahabad High Court that 22.7 acres of land in Ayodhya should be equally partitioned among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. In light of today's order, the hearings of these cases are deferred until the final report is of the mediation committee is submitted.