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Ayodhya hearing: SC grants time to mediators till August 15

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SC says it has received request from Justice F M I Kalifulla, chairman of Ayodhya land dispute mediation committee, seeking extension of time till Aug 15 to find an amicable solution to the vexed issue. SC grants time to committee till August 15.

On March 8, the Bench had set up a three-member mediation panel and had set an eight-week deadline. The other members on the panel are spiritual teacher Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.

The court had directed that the proceedings be held in-camera as per norms applicable to conduct of mediation proceedings and “with utmost confidentiality so as to ensure its success”. It also asked various parties in the dispute to use the eight-week period to take steps to make their cases ready for hearing.

A notice was put up on the apex court website which said that the matter will be heard by a five-judge Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.

The Supreme Court Friday listed the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute for hearing on August 15 after the three-member mediation panel sought more time in the case. The Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, said the court had received one report dated May 7 from the committee till now.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, 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.

The panel has submitted two short reports, one in April detailing the parties they had spoken with and the second this week informing the SC about the proposed steps on more rounds of negotiation.

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