After the Supreme Court on Friday referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for mediation, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar expressed happiness and said, “I think this will be good for the country.”
“I just heard of this news, I think this will be good for the country, mediation is the only way,” ANI quoted him as saying.
The apex court referred the land dispute case for mediation by a panel headed by retired apex court judge F M I Kalifulla to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement and gave it eight weeks to complete its proceedings.
The other members of the panel will be spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, said a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and added that they can co-opt more members if needed.
The bench, also comprising justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, said the mediation proceedings will be held at Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh and directed the state government to make necessary arrangements for it.
While referring the matter for mediation, the bench said there is no legal impediment to send the matter for mediation for arriving at a possible settlement.
The bench said the mediation proceedings will start within a week from Friday and they will be held in-camera. No media, neither print nor electronic, will report its proceedings, it said.
The bench said "utmost confidentiality" should be maintained in the mediation proceedings to ensure its success.
The apex court said the progress report of the mediation proceedings be filed before it within four weeks and directed that it be completed within eight weeks.
In case of any difficulty, the chairman will inform the apex court registry about it, it added.
The court said that mediation proceedings will be held as per the applicable norms.
Hindu bodies, except Nirmohi Akhara, have opposed the apex court's suggestion to refer the issue for mediation, while Muslim bodies have supported it.
(With inputs from agencies)