The five-judge bench of Supreme Court headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday reserved its order on whether or not to refer the Ayodhya dispute case for court-monitored mediation.
During the course of the hearing, which lasted for over an hour, the apex court tried to push for the case to be settled through mediation. While the counsel for Muslim parties, Rajeev Dhawan welcomed the suggestion by the court, the Hindu parties felt that mediation will be of no use, even as judges iterated a chance should be given.
"It’s not fair to assume that it will be a failure even before mediation is attempted. It’s your (Hindu parties) opinion. We are inclined to suggest mediation because it’s not just an issue about that land. It’s an issue of sentiment, faith. We are conscious of the gravity of the dispute and conscious of the impact it will have. It’s not only about the land. It’s about mind, hearts and whether any healing is possible," Justice Bobde said.
Regardless of whether it provides a resolution or not, the court felt that mediation should be given a chance. Justice Chandrachud concurred with his fellow judge, and hinted that it may be the only method to satisfy both the parties.
"Purpose of mediation is to reach a compromise between parties," Justice Chandrachud said.
Rajeev Dhawan, representing the Muslim parties, felt that if the case should be sent for mediation, and that consent of both the parties in not required for the same.
"Consent of the parties is not required to refer the case for mediation. Arbitration and conciliation requires consent of the parties but it’s not necessary if the court wants to refer the case for mediation," he said before adding, "The entire mediation process can be concluded with just one word - success or failure. No details ought to be shared with the media."
Throughout the hearing, the Hindu parties, except the Nirmohi Akhada, claimed mediation is a futile exercise and felt no agreement can be reached at the end of it.
Counsel for Ram Lalla even went onto say that they will help in the process of building the Mosque in some other place.
"Faith and sentiments are non-negotiable. Only thing that can be considered is providing an alternate site for a mosque. We are ready to crowd fund it if required," the counsel said.