The apex court had appointed, on March 8, a 3-member mediation panel headed by former Supreme Court Judge F.M.I. Kalifulla and consisting of spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu to explore negotiations in the vexed Ayodhya dispute. The committee was disbanded after it submitted a report that it had failed to develop a consensus among parties to reach an amicable solution.
According to sources, this committee filed a short memorandum before the apex court seeking its permission to resume talks as parties across the religious divide have approached the panel seeking resumption of negotiations on the dispute. However, at the same time, the parties, according to the panel, do not want the Ayodhya title dispute, being heard by a Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, to stop.
The Sunni Waqf Board had purportedly written to the panel seeking resumption of the mediation process, as it was close to a negotiated settlement. However, the lawyer, representing it, said: "What is the relevance of this committee now? It has already been disbanded and post that the court has begun daily hearing on the matter. A letter from the board member was sent in personal capacity, and we were never consulted on it. The hearing is in progress in court."
A total of 14 appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, which was delivered on four civil suits. The High Court judgement partitioned the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
The spokesperson of the Nirmohi Akhara also categorically denied any resumption of meditation process by the panel. "We do not require any mediation panel. Only in case, if the apex court wants us to directly talk with the Sunni Waqf Board, we will consider it. But, we are not ready to delay the case proceedings currently ongoing in the top court. The hearing must continue," said the spokesperson said.
In fact, the letter to the panel seeking resumption of mediation, was written by Nirvani Akhara, which is a defendant in the case and contesting against the Nirmohi Akhara.