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Ayodhya land dispute: As mediation process gets delayed, petition seeks early hearings in Supreme Court

In May, the top court had given extra time to the panel till August 15 to find a solution after the chairman of the mediation panel, Justice FM Khalifullah had sought more time for the mediation process.

On Tuesday, a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking an early hearing of the Ayodhya dispute citing slow progress in the court-supervised mediation efforts, reports Hindustan Times.

According to the reports, a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi has asked petitioner Gopal Singh Visharad to file the necessary application for considering the case to be heard by it. Visharad is one of the parties in the civil suit filed over the land title case.

On March 8, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had referred the long-standing Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid dispute for mediation. The mediation panel is chaired by former Supreme Court judge Justice FMI Kalifulla, along with spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior Advocate Sriram Panchu.

The top court had tasked the panel with the responsibility to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement of the decades-old issue. In May, the top court had given extra time to the panel till August 15 to find a solution after the chairman of the mediation panel, Justice FM Khalifullah had sought more time for the mediation process.

The apex court had directed the mediation proceedings shall be kept confidential and that there should not any reporting of the said proceedings either in the print or in the electronic media during the process of mediation, which was decided to be held in-camera.

The apex court is also considering a petition by the central government which wants to release the 67.7 acres of land acquired in 1993 around the 0.303 acres of land where the disputed structure stood, to its original owners.

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