In a significant move, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court today referred the Ayodhya dispute for mediation.
The Bench invoked Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) to do so while also taking into consideration the objections raised by the parties on the strength of Order I rule 8 (sub-rule 2, 3 and 4) of the CPC and Order XXIII rule 3-B of the CPC . It then held that there is no legal impediment in referring the matter for mediation.
The mediation panel will be chaired by former Supreme Court judge Justice FMI Kalifulla, and will also comprise spiritualist Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu.
The mediation will be held in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh and the State government has been directed to make arrangements so that the mediation can commence immediately.
A status report regarding the progress of the mediation is required to be submitted within four weeks.
The order was passed by a Constitution Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, and S Abdul Nazeer.