Former apex court judge F M Kalifulla will be heading the three-member panel.
The judgment on the Ayodhya case has been procrastinating from a very long time. The Supreme Court of India on Friday appointed a court-monitored mediation and appointed a three-member panel. The Supreme Court also said that the mediation process has to start within four weeks and should be completed within eight weeks. The Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi also said that the court-monitored proceedings will be confidential. This mediation will take place in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh.
What is a court-monitored mediation?
It is the process by which someone tries to end a disagreement by helping two parties talk about the issue and agree on a solution. An independent person or group is appointed to settle the dispute between the two contending parties. A court-monitored mediation is done under the supervision of the court in order to achieve the end result on time.
The three people appointed as mediators are:
1. Justice Kalifulla (Retd)
Starting his career as an advocate in 1975, Justice Kalifulla was also an active labour law practitioner. In the year 2000, Kalifulla was appointed as a permanent Judge of the Madras High Court and in 2012, he was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court.
"I understand SC has appointed a mediation committee headed by me. I'm yet to receive order copy. I can say if committee has been constituted we'll take every effort to resolve the issue amicably," he said after the court's order.
2. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar is an Indian spiritual leader and the founder of the Art of Living Foundation. Sri Sri had been earlier advocating constructive dialogue between the opposing parties on Ram Mandir issue.
"Respecting everyone, turning dreams to reality, ending long-standing conflicts happily and maintaining harmony in society - we must all move together towards these goals," tweeted Ravi Shankar.
3. Sriram Panchu
Sriram is a senior advocate and a mediator practitioner. He is also the founder of India's first court-annexed mediation center, 'The Mediation Chambers'. He played a vital role in making mediation practice a part of India's legal system and also wrote many books on mediation.
Previous mediation attempts
This is not the first time, there have been seven mediation attempts over the Ayodhya matter at various levels. The difference between the previous and the current mediation is that this one will be a court-monitored mediation with a deadline to announce the final verdict.
Following the court's appointment of the mediators, many politicians expressed their views on it
Union Minister Uma Bharti said, "I don't want to comment on the Supreme Court order. I don't want to comment on the mediators named by the court. But as a Hindu, I think, a temple should be made where Lord Ram was born."
"Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who has been appointed a mediator had earlier made a statement if muslims don't give up their claim on Ayodhya, India will become Syria. It would've been better if SC had appointed a neutral person," said AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi.
The 8-week deadline given will end on the 8th of May i.e. before the Lok Sabha elections of 2019. The Ayodhya case has a lot of political interventions and ramifications. Construction of Ram Mandir was in the election manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The verdict on the Ayodhya dispute will have a huge impact on the Lok Sabha elections of 2019.