21 November 2022

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Supreme Court refers Ram Mandir- Babri Masjid case for Mediation


The Supreme Court has referred the Ram Janambhomi- Babri Masjid land dispute case to mediation for a possible settlement of the disputes arising out of the said case within eight weeks. The Order was pronounced by the Five Judge- Constitution Bench headed by Hon’ble Chief Justice of India Mr. Justice Ranjan Gogoi and four other Justices, Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.A. Bobde, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Dr. D. Y. Chandrachud, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan and Hon’ble Mr. Justice S. Abdul Nazeer.

The case has a history of long drawn battle between parties for decades involving religious sentiments and now it is in last lap of fight before the Supreme Court. The case has also attained importance since past few months as the Lok Sabha Elections are going to be held in coming months. The 5 Judge Bench has on earlier date suggested for mediation which was welcomed by some parties and opposed by some parties. However, the Supreme Court though realised the lack of consensus between the parties in the matter, held that an attempt should be made to settle the dispute by mediation and taking cue from the provision of Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, opined that, they do not find any legal impediment to making a reference to mediation for a possible settlement of the disputes arising out of the appeals. Further, it is clarified that, whether the said provisions of the CPC would apply in the event parties arrive at a settlement/compromise in the mediation proceedings is a matter left open to be decided at the appropriate stage.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court has appointed a panel of Mediators consisting Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India as Chairman. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Shri Sriram Panchu, Senior Advocate as Members. The Court further viewed that, the mediation proceedings should be conducted with utmost confidentiality so as to ensure its success which can only be safeguarded by directing that the proceedings of mediation and the views expressed therein by any of the parties including the learned Mediators shall be kept confidential and shall not be revealed to any other person.

The Five Judge has further opined that, to ensure success of the mediation proceedings the same should be held in Faizabad (Uttar Pradesh) and directed the State Government for making adequate arrangements at the earliest so that the mediation proceedings can commence immediately within a week and further direct that the mediation proceedings be held in camera as per the norms applicable to conduct of mediation proceedings. Further, the panel of Mediators is requested to ensure completion of the process during the period of the interregnum and send a report of the progress of the mediation to the Supreme Court within four weeks of the commencement of the process. Now, since the case is referred to mediation, the people are hopeful for a possible amicable settlement so that the dispute can be rest in peace which will have a great impact in maintaining harmony and peace between two religious communities.

Tags : Land dispute Reference Mediation

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