Ayodhya Land Dispute: Who Are the 3 Members of the Mediation Panel
The Supreme Court on Friday, 8 March, ordered mediation in the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, for a “permanent solution.”
The apex court appointed Justice Fakir Muhammad Ibrahim Kalifulla as the head of the three-member mediation committee with spiritual leader and founder of Art of Living Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and senior advocate Sriram Panchu as the other two members.
The mediation proceedings will be held in Faizabad and the judges have recommended that these be kept confidential. The Supreme Court has further asked the committee to submit a report within a month.
Here’s more about the panelists who’d be mediating on the important issue of Ayodhya land dispute:
Justice Fakir Muhammad Ibrahim Kalifulla
Justice Kalifulla is a retired Supreme Court judge who has previously served as the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court. He hails from Karaikudi in Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu.
Kalifulla has been an active labour law practitioner and has appeared for various public and private sector undertakings. He became a permanent judge in the Madras High Court in 2000 and was transferred to the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in 2011.
In his career spanning over a decade, he has passed many landmark judgments. Kalifulla was a part of the bench which carried out sweeping changes in the structure of the BCCI. He retired from the Supreme Court in 2016 and will now head the committee that will mediate the Ram Janmabhoomi case.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, was born in Papanasam in Tamil Nadu and he has been vocal about his views on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case and has been advocating for a dialogue between the different parties.
He has denounced the intervention by the Supreme Court as an option and has said that the primary option should be mutual compromise by the parties involved.
In November 2018, Ravi Shankar had said that the three parties (Sunni Wakf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla) should find an “appropriate” and an “amicable” solution to the issue.
Ravi Shankar has also been reported as saying that it is the people who want the construction of a temple at the disputed site and not the saints, thus the government should make efforts to ensure the construction of a temple.
Earlier, Ravi Shankar, in an interview to India Today, had likened the situation of India to Syria and said that India will turn into Syria if the controversy is not resolved, a statement for which he received a lot of flak.
He also added, “Muslims should give up their claim on Ayodhya as a goodwill gesture. Ayodhya is not place of faith for Muslims. We cannot make Lord Ram to be born in another place.”
Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu
Sriram Panchu is also a Chennai-based senior advocate and a mediator. Since 1990s, he has been mediating cases. He set up India’s first court-annexed mediation centre in 2005.
According to his website, he was appointed by the Supreme Court to mediate a 50-year-old boundary dispute between the States of Assam and Nagaland in northeast India. He has penned two books on mediation and has been referred as a “distinguished mediator” by the apex court.