Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 18
The Supreme Court on Wednesday set October 18 as deadline for completion of arguments in the Ayodhya land dispute case it has been hearing since August 6.
The deadline was fixed by a five-judge Constitution Bench on the 26th day of hearing after perusing the tentative schedule submitted by senior advocates CS Vaidyanathan (representing Ram Lalla) and Rajeev Dhavan (representing Muslim parties) as sought by it on Tuesday.
It means the Constitution Bench will have a month’s time to write the judgment before Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi retires on November 17.
The Bench, which also includes Justice SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer, made it clear that hearing of the cross-appeals would continue as they were at an advanced stage.
On attempts to revive mediation for a negotiated settlement, the top court said the mediation attempts could go on but the terms of the process of meditation and the terms of settlement would be confidential.
Justice Kalifullah-led three-member mediation panel had written to it that the Sunni Wakf Board and Nirmohi Akhara wanted the mediation process to be revived.
If parties wanted to amicably settle the dispute, they might do so and place the settlement before it, the Bench said.
The Constitution Bench also asked the parties to spell out their views on how to mould the relief they were seeking as the Allahabad High Court had equally divided the disputed land between Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and the Muslims.
The top court is hearing 14 cross-appeals against the Allahabad High Court’s September 30, 2010 judgment equally dividing the disputed land between Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara and Muslims. On Wednesday, Dhavan continued his arguments on behalf of the Muslim parties.
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