The Supreme Court is set to hear the interim report on politically sensitive, Ayodhya's Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case submitted by three-member mediation committee today. The report was filed with the apex court on May 6 and the matter was listed for hearing on Friday.
A panel of five-judges, comprising Chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer will hear the report and decide the future course of action.
The three-member mediation committee, constituted by the apex court had judge F M I Kalifulla, spiritual guru and founder of Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, a renowned mediator. The court had referred the matter to mediation for exploring the possibility of an amicable settlement, on March 8.
The apex court had earlier said that the mediation process would commence within a week and the panel would submit the progress report within four weeks.
The bench was earlier told by Hindu bodies, except for Nirmohi Akhara, that they oppose the mediation by Hindus and Muslims about the decades-old land, as the earlier attempts of reaching a compromise have failed and provisions of Civil Procedure Code (CPC) require public notice to be issued before the start of the process.
However, the Uttar Pradesh government and Muslim bodies had supported the proposal of mediation by the Supreme Court. The top court had directed that the mediation proceedings should be conducted with "utmost confidentiality" for ensuring its success and the views expressed by any of the parties.
It had, however, refrained from passing any specific restraining order at this stage and instead empowered the mediators to pass necessary orders in writing, if so required, to restrain publication of the details of the mediation proceedings.
Considering the security and the other arrangements, the top court has asked the state government for the adequate arrangements including the venue of the mediation, place of stay of the mediators, their security, travel should be forthwith. The court had fixed the seat for mediation process in Faizabad of Uttar Pradesh, around 7 km from Ayodhya.
It had also directed that the mediation proceedings be held in-camera as per the norms applicable to conduct the mediation proceedings.
After the demolition of the Babri Masjid, constructed at the disputed site in the 16th century by Shia Muslim Mir Baqi on December 6, 1992, Allahabad High Court had passed the judgment in 2010 that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. Against the judgment of the high court about the disputed land of Ram Janmabhoomi, 14 appeals were filed in the apex court.