Ayodhya Case | Hearing over, verdict reserved; a look back at why mediation efforts turned ‘fruitless’
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The long-awaited judgment in the politically crucial Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya will pronounced by the Supreme Court tomorrow as the claims and counter-claims by Hindu and Muslim litigants came to an end on October 16.
The five-judge Constitution bench, led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had in August this year said case would be a heard in a day-to-day basis after the SC-appointed mediation panel, headed by former Supreme Court Justice FMI Kalifullah and also comprising ace mediator Sriram Panchu and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar, failed to find an amicable solution to the vexatious matter.
While the nation awaits the verdict in one of the longest fought legal battle, here is a brief overview how the mediation efforts went in vain.
On February 26 this year, the Supreme Court proposed an amicable out-of-the-court solution to the dispute. While the Muslim parties said that they are open to give mediation another chance, Hindu parties showed reluctance towards an alternate solution.
The bid to arrive at a negotiated settlement to the dispute via a mediation process failed after Ramlalla Virajman said no to further mediation. Days later, the side arguing for the mosque also turned down an invitation by the Supreme Court-appointed mediators.
On March 8, the Supreme Court proposed a court-monitored mediation between the parties litigating the Ayodhya dispute. The three-member panel was asked by the top court to hold in-camera proceedings and complete it within eight weeks.
On July 18, the apext court had asked the three-member committee to continue the mediation process and submit a report on the progress made till July 31.
Sri Sri Ravishankar's effort to negotiate an out-of-court settlement turned out to be fruitless as Muslims represented by the Sunni Waqf Board felt that it would be a surrender.
A senior Muslim cleric and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahali also voiced skepticism on mediation. He said that the Muslims would abide by the verdict.
The bench on August 2 said it came to a conclusion that an amicable solution through mediation was not possible and that the court would begin a day-day hearing in the matter.
A constitution bench headed by Ranjan Gogoi had told the PTI, "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."
Earlier, in March 2017, the Supreme Court had suggested that mediation might be a way forward. It asked the parties to settle the matter amicably. The then Chief Justice of India (CJI) J S Khehar had even offered to sit with the mediators chosen by both sides for negotiation after BJP MP Subramaniam Swamy sought an early hearing in the matter.
Swamy tried to approach the Muslim side who had asked for a judicial intervention to resolve the matter. It was only an informal attempt by the court but it did not make progress and the court declined to expedite hearing.
Earlier serious attempts at negotiations had taken place before Babri Masjid demolition among Vishwa Hindu Parishad and All India Muslim Personal Law Board. The negotiations were overseen by at least three Prime Ministers including P V Narasimha Rao and Chandra Shekhar but failed to yield result.
The difference between the latest and previous attempts were that the previous ones not court-mandated.
(with PTI inputs)
Posted By: James Kuanal