A view of Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. (Source: PTI)

Supreme Court Reserves Order On Referring Ayodhya Case To Mediator

The Supreme Court reserved its judgment on whether the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute can be settled through mediation.

A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the parties to submit names for mediators in case the apex court decides to send the case to a mediator.

“We intend to pronounce the order very shortly,” said Justice Gogoi. The bench, also comprising Justice SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Abdul Nazeer and Justice Ashok Bhushan, heard arguments that lasted for about an hour.

Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhawan, who appeared for the Sunni Waqf Board, supported the suggestion for mediation. He also agreed with the court’s suggestion to keep the mediation proceedings confidential and not allow any reporting of the process while it is ongoing.

Senior Advocate CS Vaidyanathan, who appeared for the deity Ram Lalla, however, said the mediator cannot determine the location of the birth place of the deity as it is already on record. It can only determine whether there could be an alternative location for the mosque, he said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the government of Uttar Pradesh, too, expressed doubts over sending the case for mediation. “It would not be advisable,” he said.

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