SC likely to hear Ayodhya appeals from July 25

Seeks report from mediation panel
A Constitution Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, on Thursday decided to commence hearing the Ayodhya title dispute appeals tentatively from July 25 on a day-to-day basis in case a conclusion is reached, on the basis of a mediation committee report, that the talks with Hindu and Muslim parties to heal minds and hearts is making no headway. The Bench asked Justice F.M.I. Kalifulla (retired), heading the court-appointed mediation committee, to submit the report on the progress made so far by July 18, the next date of hearing. The court’s order in a way jump-starts the Ayodhya case. The committee had been granted time till August 15 to engage in talks.
No headway: petitioner
The immediate trigger for Thursday’s hearing is an urgent plea made by a claimant to the disputed Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land that the mediation proceedings were making no headway whatsoever. The mediation committee is in the thick of its second round of talks. It finished the initial round and filed an interim status report dated May 7 in the court, seeking more time. On July 9, however, an application filed by Gopal Singh Visharad, an original claimant to the disputed site who filed a title suit way back in 1950 through his survivor Rajendra Singh, said the mediation was making no progress. Visharad asked the CJI to stop the mediation and start adjudication on the appeals. The appeals have been pending in the court for the past eight years. Visharad said, “He is entitled to offer worship without any obstruction according to the rites and tenets of his religion at the birthplace of Lord Shri Ram Chandra”.

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