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Ayodhya Case: Supreme Court Reserves Order On Court-Monitored Meditation

PRERNA YADAV | 0
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| March 6 , 2019 , 13:38 IST

The five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on resolving the long-standing Ayodhya land dispute by mediation.

In the event court orders for mediation, Chief Justice Gogoi said that the parties can suggest names of mediators and the names must be given during the course of the day.

On February 26, the top court had said that it would pass an order today on whether to refer the matter to a court-appointed mediator.

The bench appeared divided on whether mediation was the best way to resolve the decades-old dispute which concerns members of both Hindu and Muslim communities.

Justice DY Chandrachud said, "Whether the mediation is binding, You can't underscore the validity of a mediated settlement."

He also pointed out that it is not just a dispute between parties but a dispute involving two communities. "How do we bind millions of people by way of mediation. It won't be that simple," he said.

Justice Bobde said that when a party is the representative of a community, whether it is a court proceeding in a representative suit or a mediation, it should be binding.

“When the court is ordering mediation, we are not yet assuming somebody will give up something. We think it’s not primarily a dispute over the 1500 yards of land. This is about sentiment or faith. Do not think that we are not conscious of it or do you think that you have more faith than us,” Justice Bobde said.

Rajeev Dhawan, the lawyer for Muslim parties, said it has to bind everybody otherwise the court would be ignoring the fact that there is a procedure under the law. He said that sentiments need not be gone into by the court. Sentiments will always be there for communities. Sabarimala had sentiment. There will always be some angst. Why is the court talking about angst otherwise what’s the purpose of the procedure? We are open to mediation.

Uttar Pradesh opposed mediation and said mediation can be ordered when it appears to court there exists an element of a settlement. Considering the facts of the case, the nature of the dispute and possible fallout will not be advisable or prudent to undertake this path.”