The five-judge Supreme Court bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Friday announced the order in the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case Ayodhya referring it for mediation by a panel. The mediation panel is headed by former apex court judge Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, while the other members appointed are spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate-mediator Sriram Panchu.
Following the Supreme Court's order on their appointment for the mediation panel, each of the three members issued their statements:
Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who had also attempted mediation in the Ayodhya dispute case 2017-18, took to Twitter to say that 'we must all move together to end the long-standing conflicts happily and maintaining harmony in society.
Founder of the Art of Living foundation, Sri Sri has been actively advocating in the discourse between the opposing political parties on the Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue.
Responding to his appointment, senior advocate and mediator Sriram Panchu stated that while this is a very serious responsibility, he will try his best to do the task.
"It is a very serious responsibility given to me by the honourable Supreme Court. I will do my best," he said.
Being on the advisory panel on mediation to Law Commission of India, Sriram Panchu has a record of mediating in high-stake cases. Earlier, he has worked as a mediator in the Assam-Nagaland Border dispute and a dispute concerning the performance of religious ceremonies in Parsi temples.
Former Supreme Court judge Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, who has been appointed as chairman of the mediation panel, said that he will take every effort to resolve the Ayodhya issue amicably.
"I understand that Supreme Court has appointed mediation committee headed by me. I am yet to receive the order copy. As of now, I can only say that if the committee has been constituted we will take every effort to resolve the issue amicably."
Justice Kalifulla retired from the Supreme Court of India on 22 July 2016 four years after swearing-in as the CJI on April 2, 2002 . Prior to retirement, he served as the Chief Justice of High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in September 2011.
Hours after the top court gave the order, Republic TV accessed the order copy stating the detailed report on the appointment of a 3-member mediation panel into the Ayodhya dispute case.
Here are the terms of the top court order in court-monitored mediation in the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi case: