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Ayodhya dispute: 53 litigants appear before mediation panel on first day

The meeting on Wednesday lasted for over six hours and was held at a guest house of Ram Manohar Lohia Awadh University.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2019 01:33 IST
Pawan Dixit
Pawan Dixit
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Babri Masjid,Ramjanmabhoomi,Supreme Court
A view of the Supreme Court during the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case hearing, at Supreme Court in New Delhi on March 8.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)

The three-member Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute arbitration panel began its work on Wednesday with an in-camera meeting with 53 litigants in the case.

A Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi-led Constitution Bench referred the dispute to the panel for an amicable settlement on Friday setting aside the absence of consensus between rival claimants. Former Supreme Court judge, FMI Kalifulla, heads the panel, which also includes Hindu guru Ravi Shankar and lawyer Sriram Panchu. The panel has been asked submit its first progress report within four weeks.The meeting on Wednesday lasted for over six hours and was held at a guest house of Ram Manohar Lohia Awadh University, Faizabad. No one was allowed to take cell phones inside the meeting hall. Even security personnel of some of the litigants were also asked to stay away.

Uttar Pradesh advocate general, Raghvendra Singh, attended the meeting to assist the panel along with lawyers of the litigants. The litigants were served food at the meeting venue as no one was allowed to leave the place even during an hour-long lunch break. Swami Avimukteshwaranand, Mahant Dinendra Das, Triloki Nath Pandey, Mahant Dharam Das, Swami Chakrapani, Kamlesh Tiwari, Iqbal Ansari, Mohammad Umar and Haji Mahboob were among those who attended the meeting.

As many as 14 petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad high court’s September 2010 verdict that called for a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres in Ayodhya.

First Published: Mar 14, 2019 01:33 IST