The mediation panel looking into the Ayodhya land dispute case on Thursday submitted its status report to the Supreme Court. The court said it will not put up the report in public as it was meant to be confidential, according to Bar and Bench.
The court directed the mediation panel to inform it of the progress made by the committee by July 31. It will next take up the matter on August 2.
The court had on July 11 asked the panel to submit its progress report by July 18. The three-member panel is led by retired Supreme Court judge FMI Kalifulla, and comprises spiritual leader Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu. A bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had said in the last hearing on July 11 that it would hear the matter on a day-to-day basis from July 25 in case the dispute does not get resolved by mediation.
Gopal Singh Visharad, one of the original litigants in the case, had moved the Supreme Court last week, seeking an early hearing. He claimed that no progress had been made by the mediation panel.
The court had set up the three-member panel in March to hold deliberations with the concerned parties and come up with a decision in eight weeks. The panel submitted an interim report in a sealed cover to the top court registry in May but requested time until August 15 to continue mediation. The court had accepted the request, saying that if the mediators were optimistic about the results then there was no harm in granting additional time. The five-judge division bench that granted the extension was also headed by Gogoi.
The dispute over the land in Ayodhya has been going on for several decades, with both Hindu and Muslim groups claiming their right to it. The Babri Masjid stood there before it was demolished in 1992 by Hindutva activists. In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had ordered the land to be divided in three equal parts between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Sunni Wakf Board and the representative for the deity Ram.