Not one, but a panel of mediators needed, says Justice Bobde

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Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land title dispute case: A Supreme Court bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi may today decide if the said matter in Ayodhya Ram Temple case is to be referred to a mediator. Justice SA Bobde proposes restrained media reportage of the case proceedings, adds, “When the mediation is on, it should not be reported on. It may not be a gag, but no motive should be attributed to anyone when the mediation process is on.”

NEW DELHI: The five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday began hearing to decide whether court-monitored mediation is required to resolve the decades-old Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.

The five-judge Constitution Bench is expected to take a call on whether or not it would invoke Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure to attempt a court-monitored mediation in the decades-old Babri Masjid–Ram Janmabhoomi title suit.

The Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer had earlier indicated its desire for attempting mediation, under the supervision of the Supreme Court, to resolve the land dispute between the warring claimants.

On February 26, the bench had said that it would pass an order, on March 5, on whether or not a court-monitored mediation can be directed in the case. 

Notably, the suggestion for mediation was coined by Justice Bobde, during the hearing when both the Hindu and the Muslim sides were sparring over the veracity of documents related to the case which were translated by the Uttar Pradesh government and filed with the apex court registry.  

The matter was then listed for hearing on March 6. 

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