Other than an ex-judge and a noted lawyer, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will be part of the panel.

Ayodhya Dispute SC orders mediation outside court by three member panel headed by ex-judgePTI/file photo
news Courts Friday, March 08, 2019 - 14:01

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered mediation to settle the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid Ayodhya title dispute case and appointed a three-member panel for the same. The panel will be headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice FMI Kalifulla and has Art of Living founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Shriram Panchu as its members. The panel has been requested to complete the mediation in the next two months.

The inclusion of Sri Sri evoked a strong reaction from AIMIM Chief and Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi. 

“Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who has been appointed a mediator had earlier made a statement 'if Muslims don't give up their claim on Ayodhya, India will become Syria.' It would've been better if SC had appointed a neutral person,” Owaisi told news agency ANI. 

Meanwhile, Sri Sri tweeted, “Respecting everyone, turning dreams to reality, ending long-standing conflicts happily and maintaining harmony in society - we must all move together towards these goals."

Ordering the mediation, the five-judge constitution bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer barred both the print and visual media from reporting on the mediation proceedings. It also barred those participating in the proceedings from speaking to the media. The mediation proceedings would be held at Faizabad and would commence in a week. 

The order pronounced by Chief Justice Gogoi did not pass any specific guidelines, leaving it to the mediators to take a call, and said that mediators could take any legal assistance that may be necessary. 

The court has ordered the mediation to use the time available before the regular hearing of the matter during which all the parties to the dispute have been asked to complete the paperwork relating to the dispute.

"I understand the Supreme Court has appointed a mediation committee headed by me. I'm yet to receive the order copy. I can say if a committee has been constituted we'll make every effort to resolve the issue amicably," Justice Kalifulla told reporters.

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