Mediation in Ayodhya dispute never got going [02-08-2019]

The Supreme Court appointed mediation committee on the Ayodhya dispute, consisting of eminent persons reckoned as stalwarts in facilitating a consensus, failed to get going in its bid to resolve the temple-mosque row.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on July 18 asked the three-member mediation panel led by former apex court judge F.M. Kalifulla to inform the court on the outcome of the mediation proceedings by August 1.

The report claimed that mediation has failed to reach substantial conclusion.

"The parties were never ready for mediation. In fact, mediation was imposed on them. Many proposals were floated but none was accepted by the parties to develop a consensus converging on a common point of interest," said an informed source.

"Efforts to streamline mediation also failed. In fact, everything was tried but with no success," said the source familiar with the developments on the mediation.

The other two members on the panel are spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, who have a reputation on developing consensus on contentious issues.

"Since the mediation has failed, the court should decide the matter. Many joint sittings were also organised but to no avail," added the source.

A total of 14 appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment which was delivered on four civil suits.

It suggested that the 2.77 acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties.

The Supreme Court is slated to take up matter for hearing on the report on Friday at 2 p.m.

This is expected to be a crucial hearing as it will decide on the future of litigation on the Ayodhya dispute.

Initially, the apex court had extended the mediation till August 15 citing positive progress on the matter, but the party representing the Hindu side moved the court in July saying mediation was inconclusive.

The court then sought a report from the mediators on August 1 and fixed the matter for hearing for August 2.

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03 Aug 2019