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Ayodhya land dispute mediation fails, SC to hold day-to-day hearing from Aug 6

ANI | Updated: Aug 02, 2019 20:56 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 2 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday observed the mediation process on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute has failed to achieve an amicable settlement and decided to hold day-to-day hearings in the decades-old case from August 6.
After taking note of a report of the three-member mediation panel led by former apex court judge FMI Kalifulla, a Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, "The mediation proceedings have not resulted in any final settlement. We, therefore, have to proceed with the hearing of the cases/appeals, which will commence on and from August 6."
The hearing will be held on a day-day basis until the arguments are concluded, the bench also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer said in its order.
It asked the lawyers from the Hindu and Muslim parties to indicate the pleadings and evidence on which they propose to rely to allow the Registry officials to keep the documents ready for the perusal of the court.
The bench was hearing a batch of petitions seeking an end to the mediation process and the start of hearing in the Ayodhya title suit.
During the proceedings. senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for one of the Muslim parties, raised several technical issues and submitted that he will take 20 days to argue his case.
To this, Justice Gogoi said, "We will see about it."
The bench said that the court is aware that there are many aspects in the matter and it will deal with them.
The court had on July 18 asked the three-member committee also comprising Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior Madras High Court advocate Sriram Panchu to continue with the mediation process and submit a report on the progress made till July 31.
The panel had on Thursday submitted its report to the Registry.
The bench had earlier said if it came to a conclusion that an amicable solution through mediation was not possible, then the court would commence day-to-day hearing in the matter.
Among the petitioners is Rajendra Singh, son of one of the original plaintiffs -- Gopal Singh Visharad.
On July 11, K Parasaran, the senior lawyer for Singh, had argued that the mediation process is unlikely to yield any positive result.
The court had on March 8 constituted the mediation panel and asked it to conduct in-camera hearings to explore an amicable solution to the dispute. It had said the committee will hold its proceedings in Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad and complete the exercise within eight weeks.
Later, it had granted time till August 15 to the panel to complete the mediation process.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992. (ANI)