Ayodhya dispute: SC seeks fresh status report on mediation proceedings

The Supreme Court on Thursday sought a fresh status report on the ongoing mediation proceedings in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid Ayodhya land dispute case within a week and made it clear that if the vexatious issue was not resolved amicably, it would hear the matter on a day-to-day basis from July 25.

A five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, requested former apex court judge Justice (Retd) FMI Kalifulla, chairperson of the three-member mediation panel, to submit the report by July 18.

The bench said after perusing the report, if it came to a conclusion that an amicable solution through mediation was not possible, then the apex court would commence day-to-day hearing in the matter from July 25.

"We deem it proper to request Justice (Retd) FMI Kalifulla to inform us about the progress of mediation till date and the stage at which the said process is presently at," the bench, also comprising justices S.A Bobde, D.Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S.A Nazeer, said.

"This report will be submitted by Justice Kalifulla latest by Thursday next, on which date further orders will be passed," the bench said.

The apex court passed the order while hearing an application filed by the legal heirs of one of the original litigants, Gopal Singh Visharad, seeking a judicial decision on the dispute and annulment of the ongoing mediation process, alleging that nothing much was happening there.