Mediation Work to Resolve Ayodhya Dispute

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The Ayodhya (Ram-Mandir Babri-Masjid) dispute has been referred to a panel of three mediators by a Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court. The panels՚s main objective is to ensure the Supreme Court whether there can be a resolution to the dispute other than the court verdict or not. The top court appointed a three-member panel, which to be headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice FMI Kalifullah and include Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.

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Mediation Overview & The Laws Governing it.

  • It is an alternative method of resolving disputes without resorting to the courts.
  • It is a structured, voluntary and interactive negotiation process where a neutral third-party uses specialized communication and negotiation techniques to help the parties in fulfilling their stated objectives.
  • It also focuses on the interests, needs and rights of the parties.
  • Mediation first came to be legally recognized as a method of dispute resolution in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
  • The Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 has been referred by the Supreme Court in Ayodhya Dispute Case which allowed the courts to refer to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods to settle pending disputes.
  • The consent of the parties was made mandatory and the court could refer cases for arbitration, conciliation, judicial settlement through Lok Adalat, or mediation.
  • The Hindu Mahasabha had strongly opposed the mediation following which the court has relied on the Civil Procedure- Mediation Rules, 2003 which provides for mandatory mediation under r. 5 (f) (iii) . These allow the court to refer cases for mediation even when the parties are not ready for reference for mediation if there is an element of settlement.

Babri Masjid Dispute

  • As per Hindu Traditions & beliefs the city of Ayodhya is the birthplace of Rama popularly known as the “Ram Janmabhoomi” . On the other hand many Muslim communities say that a mosque was built at the site by the Mughal general Mir Baqi, Popularly known as the “Babri Masjid” after the Mughal emperor Babur.
  • On 6 December 1992 the VHP and the BJP organised a rally at the site involving 150,000 volunteers, known as kar sevaks. The rally turned violent, and the crowd overwhelmed security forces and demolished the mosque.
  • Hindu groups claim that exact site of Lord Ram՚s birthplace is where Babri Masjid was once located. They argue that Mughals demolished a Hindu shrine that marked spot of Lord Ram՚s birthplace and constructed a mosque in its place.
  • Those oppose to this view argue that such argument arose only in the 18th century, and that there is no evidence for the spot being the birthplace of Rama.
  • A subsequent inquiry into the incident found 68 people responsible, including several leaders of the BJP and the VHP.
  • Several months of intercommunal rioting between India՚s Hindu and Muslim communities were followed by the demolition of the Mosque, causing the death of at least 2,000 people. The violence also occurred in the Pakistan & Bangladesh.

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