New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday permitted the resumption of mediation sought by a Hindu sect Nirvani Akhara and the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board for an amicable solution of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute while making it clear that the ongoing Ayodhya hearing, which is at an advanced stage, would continue.
The five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi permitted the resumption of mediation after it received communication from the chairman of the three-member committee, Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, informing the top court about the request from the Nirvani Akhara and the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board.
However, the court made it clear that the resumption of mediation would not in any way affect the ongoing hearing of the title dispute by the Constitution bench, which was already at an advanced stage.
“The hearing of the appeals, which is at a very advanced stage, will continue without any interruption. If, in the meantime, the parties desire to settle the matter(s), including, by resort to mediation by the earlier constituted mediation panel, they may do so and place the settlement before the Court, if reached,” read the order passed by the bench headed by CJI Gogoi
The 25th hearing of the Ayodhya case by a five-judge constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice S.A. Bobde, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer was held on Wednesday.
The court said that tentatively the ongoing Ayodhya hearing would conclude by October 18, 2019. The court indicated October 18 for the conclusion of hearing after senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the Sunni Waqf Board, told the court that they would require another two weeks time to conclude their arguments.
If hearing concludes by October18, this would leave the constitution bench a month’s time to write the judgment, which has to be delivered by November 17 — the day Chief Justice Gogoi retires.