Ayodhya mediation panel gets more time

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In a major breakthrough on Thursday, the Supreme Court has allowed the Ayodhya panel to carry on mediation till July-end and present a report on August 1.

In a hearing on July 11, the top court bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and wanted a report on the progress made. The court had said that it may begin day-today hearing from July 25 if it feels the mediation procedure hasn’t made much headway.

The mediation panel is headed by retired Justice FM Khalifullah. The other members of the panel are the Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, who is a trained mediator.

On March 8, the SC ordered the mediation to seek an agreeable resolution of the politically and consistently sensitive land dispute.

The court had directed both sides — Hindu and Muslim organizations to preserve the utmost confidentiality during the mediation, which was to be held in camera.

The Supreme Court is hearing a batch of appeals against the Allahabad high court’s on September 30, 2010, judgment that ordered the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya to be divided equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board; the Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu religious value and an organization that represents the infant deity, Ram Lalla.

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