Top court defers Ayodhya dispute case hearing to March 5, suggests another mediation round


The Supreme Court of India deferred the Ayodhya dispute case hearing to March 5 and suggested another round of mediation between the parties involved, observing that it was “considering the possibility of healing relationships”, PTI reported.

The disputed land’s issues revolve around access to a site traditionally regarded among Hindus to be the birthplace of the Hindu deity Rama, the history and location of the Babri Mosque at the site, and whether a previous Hindu temple was demolished or modified to create the mosque.

The five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer was hearing the matter that was initially scheduled to be taken up on January 29, but was being taken up on Tuesday due to ‘non-availability of Justice Bobde’, as per the report.

During the hearing, the bench said, “It’s not a dispute over private property. It has become so contentious. We are seriously giving a chance for mediation between the parties,” the report stated.

Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing the Muslim party, said he agreed to mediation in the larger interest, Senior Advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for the deity Ram Lalla, opposed it, the report stated.

Justice Bobde, responding to submissions by lawyers regarding earlier mediation having failed, said that even if there is once per cent chance of success, it should be explored, according to the report.

“We are considering a possibility of healing relationships,” he added, as per the report.

Justice Gogoi referred to the copies of a report filed by Secretary-General on the status of materials sought to be relied upon by parties and questioned if translations of documents were acceptable to both the parties.

Dhavan said he will “have to check the veracity of translated documents provided by the UP government”, according to the report.

While countering Dhavan’s statement, Vaidyanathan said translations were already verified and accepted by both parties with no issue being raised two years ago, in December 2017.

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 is partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

(With agency inputs from PTI)

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