Day-to-day hearing of Ayodhya case from 6 August: SC

New Delhi: The long-pending dispute on Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid in Ayodhya could not be settled amicably even after four attempts have been made in this regard.

On Friday, the fourth mediation proceedings were held bu it once again failed to resolve the issue.

The five-judge Constitution bench that is led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi noted that the report filed by the three-member mediation panel said that that its effort to find out resolution has failed. The panel is headed by former apex court judge FMI Kalifulla.

Following this, the Supreme Court ordered day-to-day hearing of the case from 6 August.

It is to be noted that on 8 March the bench had referred the dispute for mediation as was favoured on 21 March 2017 by the then Chief Justice J S Khehar. Justice Khehar who headed the bench said that fresh attempts must be made by all parties concerned to find a solution to the sensitive and sentimental issue. But the suggestions made by the bench were not supported by the contesting parties.

Following this, it came up for hearing before a bench headed by Justice Dipak Mishra. Mishra tried to take the appeals forward against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment. The judgement had said the 2.77-acre land should be partitioned equally among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

Several developments delayed the proceedings, and later, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi revived the suggestion made by Justice Khehar of settling the dispute through mediation.

On 26 February 2019, the current bench, comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, asked the contesting parties to explore the possibility of amicably settling the matter through mediation.

Besides the judicial intervention, the 1994 judgement in the Ismail Faruqui case had recorded negotiations between VHP and All India Babri Masjid Action Committee, which broke down at a crucial phase. In 2003, the Kanchi Shankaracharya tried for a negotiated settlement. However, it ended after he wrote a letter to AIMPLB saying Kashi, Mathura and Ayodhya will have to be given to Hindus at some point.

NT Bureau