[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Supreme Court on Friday came across an unwonted Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Intercontinental Association of Lawyers that sought quashing of the proceedings in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case.
The plea had also demanded a First Information Report to be filed against the appellant in the matter.
Expressing displeasure at the PIL, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi who was sitting along with Justice Ashok Bhushan remarked, “What kind of prayer is this? Look at your prayers”.
The Court then proceeded to dismiss the PIL.
A five-judge bench comprising the CJI Ranjan Gogoi, and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer is hearing appeals against Allahabad High Court judgment in Ayodhya matter since August 6.
On March 8, the Supreme Court had referred the dispute to mediation and constituted a three-member panel to try and find a settlement to the issue. On August 2, 2019, the panel informed the Constitution Bench that mediation had failed. The bench, therefore, decided to commence hearing the appeals on their merits on a day-to-day basis.
The three-member panel of mediators comprised former judge of the Supreme Court, Justice F M Ibrahim Khaliifulah as chairperson, founder of Art of Living Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate SriramPanchu as members.
The mediators were granted liberty by the Supreme Court to co-opt other members to the panel, if so required.
While directing that the mediation be held in-camera as per the norms applicable to the conduct of mediation proceedings, the court also ordered that the views expressed by the parties, including the mediators, be kept under wraps.
The mediation proceedings were held in Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh.
The current appeals in the Supreme Court were filed against a 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment delivered in four civil suits, suggesting that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties – the Sunni Waqf Board, the NirmohiAkhara and Ram Lalla.