NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday commenced hearing in the politically sensitive case of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya after the efforts to arrive at an amicable settlement through mediation have failed.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was hearing the case.
The bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.
On August 2, the five-judge Constitution bench taken note of the report of the three-member mediation panel, headed by former apex court judge FMI Kalifulla, that the mediation proceedings, which went on for about four months have not resulted in any final settlement.
On March 8, the top court had constituted a three-member committee headed by former apex court judge F M I Kalifulla for exploring the possibility of an amicable settlement to the land dispute case.
Spiritual guru and founder of Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, a renowned mediator, are the other two members of the panel of mediators.
The bench was hearing appeals against the September 30, 2010 verdict of Allahabad High Court order.
The Allahabad HC in its 2010 verdict had suggested a division of the disputed 2.77 acres of the Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid land in Ayodhya-one for each of the parties the Nirmohi Akhara, the Sunni Waqf Board and Ram Lalla.
The Babri Masjid, built by Mughal emperor Babur in 1578 in Ayodhya and it was destroyed by a group of Hindu activists on December 6, 1992, demanding that the mosque was constructed after demolishing a Ram Temple. Since then, several hearings have been held in the Supreme Court to resolve the issue.
A group of Hindu activist claimed that it was a birthplace of ‘Rama’ (Hindu God in ancient history) and the Mughal emperors destroyed the remains of structure to build the mosque, however, the Muslims denied it.