In a major development in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute at Ayodhya, the Supreme Court-appointed three-member mediation panel is going to hold the first meet on Wednesday in New Delhi amid the day-to-day hearing in the top court. This development has come days after the Supreme Court preponed the deadline to October 17 from October 18 to complete the final arguments in the politically sensitive case. The Ayodhya mediation panel is holding the meeting between the parties involved in the case at Delhi's India International Centre. However, members of the Hindu Mahasabha and Nirmohi Akhara are not participating in the meeting.
Responding on Hindu Mahasabha skipping the meeting of the mediation committee, its lawyer Vishnu Shankar stated that the side wants judgement from the SC and that the Hindu side is willing to compromise. Nirmohi Akhara has reasoned its decision to skip the meeting saying that it is busy preparing for the Supreme Court's decision. Shia Waqf Board is also skipping the meeting, maintaining that the Muslim side is in favour of the construction of Babri Masjid at the disputed site. Speaking for Shia Waqf Board, Wasim Rizvi said that the Muslim side is waiting for the decision of the Supreme Court.
Earlier on September 18, the SC had agreed to hear of the contentious case parallel to the Ayodhya mediation. However, the top court had maintained that the mediation proceedings will be confidential and if reached on a settlement, it will be placed before it. On September 17, Republic TV had accessed exclusive documents revealing that mediation was about to reach its final stage of settlement in the Ayodhya dispute. While it was declared by CJI Ranjan Gogoi on August 2 that mediation in the Ayodhya land dispute has failed, the documents revealed that mediation was about to reach a settlement, but could not be completed 'due to paucity of time'. Meanwhile the Supreme Court continue to hear the matter on a daily basis.
The Sunni Waqf Board had written a letter to the mediation panel asking for more time from the panel to reach Settlement. The Supreme Court-appointed mediation panel consists of Justice P.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Sriram Panchi.
"The issue was almost resolved and the parties had reached a definite settlement. However, the same could not be finalised due to paucity of time. If only or two weeks more were available with you, we are sure that Settlement could have come through," the letter dated September 5, 2019 read.