A five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, on March 8 sent the Ayodhya dispute for mediation in a bid to heal minds and hearts "if possible".
The Bench appointed a panel of mediators, including former judge of the court Justice F.M.I. Kalifulla, as Chairman; spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar; and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, a veteran lawyer with years of experience in alternative dispute resolution.
Mediation will start within a week at Faizabad and state of UP has to make arrangements, the Supreme Court ruled. Mediation panel has to give its report within four weeks.
The mediation will be done by a three-member panel, which the Supreme Court said, will be at liberty to induct more mediators or seek legal assistance. Justice FM Khalifulah, the retired Supreme Court judge is the chairman of the panel.
The suggestion was opposed by the Uttar Pradesh government and the Hindu parties, except the Nirmohi Akhara, a religious denomination that is one of the main parties to the civil suit, but was welcomed by the Muslim side.