New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Friday pronounce its order on the issue of referring the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for court-appointed and monitored mediation for a “permanent solution”.
A five-judge Constitution bench will pass the order today on whether to send the Ayodhya dispute case for mediation, after it heard the parties in the case on March 6 and had reserved the order.
On February 26, the five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice SA Nazeer had suggested an amicable resolution to the Ram Mandir case through mediation, and had told the parties, “We’re seriously giving a chance for mediation.”
“We have suggested to the parties that during the interregnum a court-appointed and court-monitored mediation with utmost confidentiality could be initiated to bring a permanent solution to the issues raised in the cases,” the bench had said on February 26.
During the March 6 hearing, while Muslim side and Nirmohi Akhada from the Hindu side in the case were agreed for the mediation, the counsels appearing for deity Ram Lalla Virajman, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha and Mahant Suresh Das were opposed to the mediation saying court-appointed mediation had failed on earlier occasions.
“Even if there is only 1 per cent chance, it should be explored,” Justice SA Bobde had added while emphasising for mediation in the matter.
“We are considering a possibility of healing relationship,” the bench had observed.
The bench had said that the issue is about the “sentiments, religion, and about faith” while adding that they are “conscious of the gravity of the dispute”.
The court had also indicated that there need not be one mediator but a panel of mediators and also suggested that when the Ayodhya mediation is on, it should not be reported by the media.
There are fourteen appeals pending before the top court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement trifurcating the disputed site at Ayodhya into three parts for Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and the original Muslim litigant.
Apart from these appeals, several petitions were pending before the apex court relating to the issue.
The Central government had filed a petition seeking modification of its 2003 order to allow it to return the “excess/superfluous land” or undisputed land out of the 67.703 acres acquired in Ayodhya to its original owners including the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, a trust formed by members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to oversee the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Another plea was filed by seven persons who claimed to be devotees of Lord Ram, challenging the constitutional validity of the 1993 law for acquisition of the land, including the Ayodhya disputed site.
State Legislature has exclusive power to make provision relating to the management of the affairs of religious institutions working in the State, the petition had added.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has also moved the apex court seeking enforcement of his fundamental right to worship at the disputed site of birthplace of Lord Rama in Ayodhya.
In September last year, a three-judge bench, headed by former Chief Justice Deepak Misra CJI had ruled that the apex court would hear the issue purely as a “land dispute”.