Previous attempts to solve Ayodhya dispute through mediation
New Delhi, Mar 08: The Supreme Court on Friday referred Ayodhya's Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case to mediation for amicable settlement.
A five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said the case was not about property, but about "mind, heart and healing-if possible." While the Supreme Court is in favour of mediation in the case, most parties involved do not approve of mediation.
The mediation process will be held in Faizabad and will start within a week, the Supreme Court said, The process should be done "utmost confidentiality," and should be concluded in eight weeks.
The Babri Masjid demolition case had witnessed several attempts to mediate a compromise between the opposing sides, all of which were unsuccessful.
Allahabad HC tried mediation
The three-judge Bench of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court, too, had tried mediation. After arguments concluded on August 3, 2010, the Bench had called all lawyers into the chamber and asked whether they wanted to reconcile.
In September 2010, various attempts were made to defer a decision by the High Court on the ground of attempting mediation, but all ended being rejected.
The Supreme Court was informed then that the High Court is contemplating mediation and has given time till September 23 for the parties to arrive at a settlement.
A retired bureaucrat, Ramesh Chandra Tripathi, had moved a plea seeking mediation, but his petition was rejected by a three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court by 2:1 majority.
CJI J S Khehar too attempted for mediation
After several parties appealed the High Court order, Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar himself offered to act as a mediator between the Hindu and Muslim sides. He called it a "sentimental" issue, and said that the best way to reach an amicable solution would be to hold negotiations outside the court.
This attempt by the court at coaxing the parties into negotiating a settlement was, however, not formal, and did not go anywhere.
Mediation attempts by individuals
1990 - PM Chandra Shekhar attempted to resolve the matter between the two parties after VHP volunteers damaged the mosque partially. However, the negotiations between them failed.
1992- PV Narasimha Rao also initiated talks between Hindus and Muslims to resolve the case permanently. But Rao also failed to take the talks to a logical end.
2003- A significant effort was made by Atal Bihari Vajpayee when set up an Ayodhya cell in his office and designated a senior official to hold talks with Hindu and Muslim leaders. But this also failed.
2014- As per reports, in 2014, Ansari wanted to put an end to the dispute and make 'a fresh start'. Ansari was the oldest litigant in the Babri Masjid case, having been involved since his arrest in 1949 for protestingagainst the installation of the idols in the mosque. Talks did not progress.