SC allows Ayodhya mediaters time till July 31

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The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the Ayodhya mediation panel to continue talks to develop consensus between Hindu and Muslim parties on the temple dispute and asked it to continue the court-monitored process till July 31 as that would apparently enable it to pass further orders.

The report will be submitted to the apex court on August 1. If required, the court will tentatively set August 2 for the hearing of appeals.

“We request the panel to inform the court the outcome of the mediation proceedings as on July 31 by August 1 to enable us to proceed further in the matter in terms of the present directions,” the Bench said in its order.

The court said it had received a report of the three-member mediation panel, headed by former apex court judge F.M.I. Kalifulla, and took on record the contents. The other two members of the panel are spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate SriramPanchu.

The court has barred publication of the report contents as the panel will continue the mediation process till the end of month.

“Taking into account what has been brought to our notice by the said report, we now fix the hearing of the cases on and from August 2. The Bench will assemble again on the August 2 at 2 p.m,” the order said.

Earlier, the court had tentatively set July 25 for the start of daily hearing on appeals in the Ayodhya land dispute case. The court observed the hearing would be conducted if it felt the mediation had been inconclusive.

The court also took on record the intervening application filed by EjazMaqbool, seeking permission to point out discrepancies in translations, if any, at the time of referring the relevant document during the final arguments.

The top court had on March 8 appointed a three-member mediation panel to talk to all stakeholders and try to reach a consensus to resolve the dispute. Recommending mediation, the court had said it was looking for “a possibility of healing relationships”. It expected the mediation to succeed in developing a consensus on the sensitive matter. It asked the panel to conduct in-camera proceedings and the complete the process in eight weeks.