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Bar Council of India introduces Mediation with Conciliation as a compulsory subject to be taught with effect from the Academic Session 2020-2021 in 3 years and 5-year LL.B Degree.

BCI directs all the universities to incorporate the above-stated subject as a compulsory paper from the Academic Session 2020-2021.

In times of pandemic and Covid-19, when physical hearings in courts are suspended and norms of social distancing are required to be maintained, Mediation as a tool for conflict resolution has come to the fore. Litigants have been drawn towards Mediation and have begun to realize it’s immense benefits.

Mediation and Conciliation has been seen to lead to resolutions without undergoing arduous trials and moreover resolutions/solutions are arrived at, at a relatively lesser time.

Further BCI states that the teachers for such programs must be trained adequately. The qualification of teachers required to teach Mediation with Conciliation shall be decided by the Bar Council of India in consultation with any authority/institution as it may deem fit including U.G.C. For the moment, applications may be invited from the lawyers having at least 10 years of practice with theoretical knowledge and practical experience in these subjects, inclusive of trained Mediators/Conciliators, and from persons having 2-years LL.M Degrees in these subjects.

Training will also be introduced by the Bar Council of India, in the near future and subsequently, such certificate/ Diploma holders would be preferred for being appointed as Teachers for teaching the subject of Mediation and Conciliation.

Read the detailed Circular, here: Mediation_Mandatory_Bar_Council_Course


Bar Council of India

[Circular dt. 13-08-2020]

COVID 19Cyril Amarchand MangaldasExperts Corner

I. Introduction

For eons, Indians have been reliant on court-driven litigation and, more recently on arbitration for resolving commercial disputes. The significance and impact of mediation in amicable dispute resolution is vastly underrated and under appreciated as reliance on mediation has been restricted to only family disputes and other elementary matters. However, the advent of COVID-19 has forced the world, including the legal industry, to change the norms and to adapt and reform around the new normal and we believe that the insurgence of COVID-19 will give us an opportunity to re-discover the significance of mediation as an effective form of dispute resolution mechanism, especially in commercial matters.

II. Evolution of Mediation

Mediation was popular even before it found a place in the books of law. Ancient Greek civilisation had village elders resolving fights between the locals. In India, instances of mediation can be found in the village panchayat system, wherein, the village elders or ‘Panchs’ resort to mechanisms like mediation to amicably resolve family and land related disputes between the  locals.

Acknowledging the importance of mediation, the Indian legislature enacted the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987[1], which introduced the Lok Adalat system. Lok Adalats provide a platform to resolve disputes in the pre-litigation stage by way of amicable settlement.

Thereafter, in 1988, the 129th Law Commission Report on Urban Litigation and Mediation as Alternative to Adjudication and the Arrears Committee Report, also known as the Justice Malimath Committee Report was published. Considering the backlog of cases lying before the Indian courts, Justice Malimath Committee Report recommended that the parties be encouraged to refer their disputes to alternate dispute resolution mechanisms (“ADRs”)[2]. These recommendations eventually paved the way for the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1999[3], which introduced Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (“CPC”). Section 89 CPC empowered the courts to refer disputes, with the potential to be settled to ADRs (which included arbitration, conciliation, mediation, judicial settlement)[4].

On April 9, 2005, the Tamil Nadu Mediation and Conciliation Centre, the first court annexed mediation centre was inaugurated[5]. Thereafter, in August 2005, the ex-Chief Justice of India, Justice R.C. Lahoti, constituted a Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee for imparting mediation training for Judges[6]. As of date, several High Courts have their own mediation centres and rules governing them.

Please see below a table providing the various initiatives taken by different High Courts in India:

Sl. No.

High Court

Initiative

Delhi

The Delhi High Court has its own Mediation and Conciliation Centre known as Samadhan and they have regular training workshops of advocates enrolled in the Delhi Bar Association.

Mumbai

The Mediation Monitoring Committee of the Bombay High Court operates a mediation scheme to resolve pending cases before the District Courts, Taluka Court, City Civil Court, Small Causes Court, etc., by providing litigants an opportunity to resolve their disputes by mediation.

Calcutta

The Calcutta High Court recently organised a workshop for Judges at different courts to promote mediation. Experts were brought in from  US to impart their expertise on the subject- matter.

Realising the potential of mediation for speedy and cost-effective dispute resolution, an amendment to the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, was made in 2018, introducing Section 12-A, which mandatorily requires the parties to attempt to mediate their disputes before initiating judicial proceedings[7]. Recently, the Supreme Court in January 2020, set up a panel, headed by Mr Niranjan Bhat, to recommend and draft legislation, codifying mediation practice in India.

These attempts made by the legislature and judiciary to bring mediation in the mainstream have been futile as the true potential of mediation still remains underutilised.

III. Statistical Analysis of Mediation in India

Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy (“Vidhi”) published a report called “Strengthening Mediation in India” in December 2016 (“the Report”)[8], wherein Vidhi, in collaboration with the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, analysed the progress of court referred mediation[9], focusing on the data provided by Bangalore Mediation Centre and Delhi High Court Mediation and Conciliation Centre.

The table below shows certain key trends in mediation[10]:

Sl. No.

Mediation Centre

Cases referred

Success Rate

2011

2015

Karnataka

2.79%

4.83%

66%

Delhi

2.86%

2.31%

56%

According to the statistics available on the website of Kerala State Mediation and Conciliation Centre, matters referred to mediation show a success rate of 35.42% in 2016[11]. These abysmal figures can be attributed to various factors, including reluctance of litigants to mediate, lack of awareness and inadequate infrastructure.

IV. Why Mediation?

Mediation is different from other forms of ADR such as arbitration, conciliation and settlement. Unlike litigation and arbitration, which are adversarial in nature, mediation is founded on pillars of cooperation and trust, and is similar to negotiation. A mediator acts as a facilitator between the parties to arrive at a solution, without dictating the settlement terms.

The main difference between mediation and conciliation lies in the role played by a mediator and a conciliator. A conciliator has broader powers of intervention and is empowered to draft the terms of settlement. However, a mediator is a facilitator, who helps parties to resolve their problems on their own. A mediator can give suggestions and persuade the parties to arrive at a solution.

Indian courts have always been over-burdened and the backlog of pending cases is daunting. Even though litigation provides an effective dispute resolution method, it does have various drawbacks, including exorbitant costs, undue delays and cumbersome procedure.

In recent times, arbitration has gained popularity. Although arbitration provides solution to the various drawbacks of litigation, it remains to be an expensive ADR.On the other hand, mediation provides for a cost-effective manner of dispute resolution. It also provides parties an opportunity to resolve their disputes amicably, within a pre-decided time-frame. This helps them avoid the exorbitant cost incurred due to litigation and the undue delays, which are beyond their control.

Mediation gives the parties the flexibility to decide the manner and procedure to be followed to resolve their disputes, depending on the nature of their dispute and the relation between the parties. It also allows the parties to arrive at a tailor-made solution, minimising an unfavorable impact. Parties have the autonomy to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before arriving at the most favourable solution. Additionally, unlike litigation, where the documents once filed become public, mediation allows the parties to keep their documents and discussions undertaken during the mediation, confidential. This is specifically relevant for the companies, as any adverse information about the company, can fluctuate share prices of the company.

It is worth mentioning here that various multi-national corporations, companies and partnership firms have also realised the above mentioned benefits of mediation, which has resulted in them introducing clauses for mandatory mediation in cases of any disputes or disagreements between the parties. Even with all these advantages, mediation is still not a popular choice.

V. Mediation in the wake of COVID-19

As already discussed in the introduction, this pandemic has placed us in a situation where we are forced to adapt to survive. Slowly and gradually, we are shifting from the traditional ways to modern and innovative ways.

Mediation provides a viable alternative to resolve disputes. Under the current circumstances, it would be beneficial for the parties to act in cooperation instead of being adversarial, as an adversarial approach may not always yield a beneficial outcome.

In light of the virus outbreak, jurists contemplate that a number of disputes will arise on the interpretation of force majeure clauses, material adverse effect clauses and termination clauses. While doing so, it is not always advisable to knock on the doors of the courts to seek justice, especially when such key clauses are missing or inadequately drafted. Therefore, while the courts are grappling with the existing backlog of cases, the restrictions in its functioning due to the lockdown and the fresh set of disputes arising due to the current scenario, we feel there might be a shift in the manner in which commercial disputes are or will be resolved, with increased reliance on mediation.

Several Indian High Courts, including the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, Delhi High Court, Kerala High Court, etc., and various international organisations like the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, London Court of International Arbitration, International Chamber of Commerce have already formulated mediation rules. These rules are comprehensive, extensive and can be adopted by parties to deal with the procedural aspects of mediation. Parties also have the option of opting for adhoc arbitration, allowing them to decide on the procedure to be followed during mediation.

Keeping in mind the above benefits and the role mediation can play in the times to come, Singapore International Mediation Centre has launched the SIMC COVID-19 Protocol[12], providing business with an effective solution by way of expedited mediation for dispute resolution. A similar project has been launched by Georgian International Arbitration Centre in collaboration with Resolve and with assistance of European Union and United Nations Development Programme, allowing the parties to either refer their dispute to facilitation or mediation[13]. These moves show the preparedness of various organisations in accepting that mediation will bring the new dawn in dispute resolution, during and even after the pandemic.

IV. Conclusion

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the introduction of various restrictions and changes in law by the legislature, thereby disrupting the functioning of business. Due to the lockdown initiated on account of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Indian economy is experiencing a steady downfall. People and businesses are fending for themselves and are making all efforts to survive. Market leaders are contemplating that the present situation will act as a hotbed for disputes. These new disputes would require speedy and cost-effective solutions. To contain the impact of the fast spreading virus, the courts have also been functioning at minimal capacity and only hearing urgent matters, which makes approaching the courts for dispute resolution a slightly challenging exercise. In the wake of the current situation, mediation appears to be a viable and effective alternative to traditional dispute resolution methods as it can deliver cost-effective and speedy resolution of disputes, especially in cases of commercial disputes. Considering the pandemic and the repercussions to follow, we envisage a shift in the dispute practice being driven by mediation. This shift would require us to be prepared and hence it is imperative to ensure we obtain the requisite training and the skill set to be able to meet the changing demands.


*Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

**Associate, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

***Associate, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

[1] Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987  

[2] https://delhicourts.nic.in/dmc/history.htm, last visited on May 28, 2020.

[3] Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1999

[4] Section 89  CPC 

[5] http://www.hcmadras.tn.nic.in/mashist.html last visited on June 10, 2020.

[6] https://delhicourts.nic.in/dmc/history.htm last visited on June 10, 2020.

[7] Section 12-A, Commercial Courts Act, 2015

[8] https://doj.gov.in/sites/default/files/Final%20Report%20of%20Vidhi%20Centre%20for%20%20Legal%20Policy.pdf last visited on May 28, 2020.

[9] There are two broad categories of mediation: (i) Court referred mediation, wherein, the courts while exercising their powers under Section 89 CPC, refer appropriate matters to mediations; and (ii) Private mediation, wherein, the parties to a dispute agree to mediate their disputes.

[10] https://dakshindia.org/Daksh_Justice_in_India/14_chapter_04.xhtml#fn21 last visited on May 28, 2020.

[11] http://keralamediation.gov.in/Statistics  last visited on May 28, 2020.

[12] http://mediationblog.kluwerarbitration.com/2020/05/21/international-mediation-and-covid-19-the-new-normal/?doing_wp_cron=1591162205.3996729850769042968750 last visited on June 3, 2020

[13] http://giac.ge/giac-and-resolve-are-joining-forces-to-launch-covid19-business-support-initiative/last visited on June 3, 2020.

Op EdsOP. ED.

The principle of Gram Swaraj is based on the idea of “self-governance” or “self-rule” which teaches human beings to be self sufficient by living in peace and harmony and by understanding and respecting the needs and demands of their fellow brethrens.

In dispute resolution, this principle inspires the conflicting parties to resolve their disputes amicably by understanding and respecting the needs and demands of each other. The true aim of the dispute resolution system based on the principle of Gram Swaraj is to unite the parties towards the path of humanity and love for mankind.

Mohandas Gandhi, in his autobiography, had shared an instance wherein he successfully convinced the parties to arbitrate their dispute and, thereafter, successfully convinced the award holder to allow the award debtor to pay the awarded sum in “moderate instalments”, even though the instalments were to run “over a very long period”. Had his client (the award holder) not gotten convinced for such a settlement, the award debtor would be declared bankrupt “and there was an unwritten law among the Porbandar Memans living in South Africa that death should be preferred to bankruptcy.”[1] Gandhi wrote thereafter that “It was more difficult for me to secure this concession of payment by installments than to get the parties to agree to arbitration. But both were happy over the result, and both rose in the public estimation. My joy was boundless. I had learnt the true practice of law. I had learnt to find out the better side of human nature and to enter men’s hearts. I realized that the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby – not even money, certainly not my soul.[2]

This enshrines the spirit of Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism in India.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (hereinafter ‘ADR’),which stands as an acronym for a variety of dispute resolution methods such as arbitration, mediation, conciliation, Permanent Lok Adalats, etc., complements the formal justice system. The ADR mechanism gives the autonomy to the parties to select the procedure and the dispute resolution method which are best suited to their needs and preferences. This enables them to resolve their disputes more efficiently by avoiding the complexities involved in court adjudication. This means that they will have more freedom, relaxed rules, tailored remedies, speedy resolution, cost-efficient mechanisms, and an improved access to justice.

However, the parties while deciding to resolve their dispute through any mode of ADR face certain difficulties such as uncertainty in the selection of procedures, uncertainty in the selection of an efficient panel of neutrals (arbitrator, conciliator, mediator, etc.), uncertainty in fixing the fee of the panel of neutral(s), difficulty in searching for a proper place of proceeding etc. To overcome these shortcomings, the institutional ADR offers many advantages. The institutional ADR facilitates the process of ADR by equipping the parties with the prerequisites for effective conduction of the proceedings. For example, it provides to the parties a well built-in infrastructure, a panel of specialised and efficient neutral(s), uniform fees, updated rules, and predetermined procedures, among others.

While these institutional advantages can be avail for the ADR methods such as arbitration, mediation, negotiation, etc, in India, the institutional system of Permanent Lok Adalat (hereinafter ‘PLA’) provides for some additional benefits. Moreover, whenever we think about institutional ADR, we mostly think of Arbitration and Mediation. However, we fail to acknowledge that these mechanisms are predominantly of the rich and the corporate. The common man hardly avails justice through these modes of ADR. Thus, the PLA is an ADR institution for justice to the common man. It is cost-efficient, speedy, government-supported, and promises justice to all, irrespective of their economic, social, or other disability.

PERMANENT LOK ADALATS

Permanent Lok Adalats (hereinafter ‘PLAs’) are one of the most effective tools of ADR in India. PLAs are special tribunals established by the National Legal Service Authority (hereinafter ‘NALSA’) or the State Legal Service Authority (hereinafter ‘SLSA’) with a pre-litigation attempt to resolve the disputes related to public utility in a speedy manner by means of compromise. The latest statistics on PLAs available on the NALSA website reveal that currently there are 298 PLAs in the country which had collectively settled 102,625 out of 143,061 cases from April 2018-March 2019, the total settlement value of those touches Rs. 3,870,578,815[3]. Moreover, the pecuniary jurisdiction of the PLA has been increased from Rupees Ten lakhs to Rupees One crore.[4]

Unlike Lok Adalats which can only be called occasionally, PLAs are established institutions. With the aim of fulfilling the constitutional promise of justice to all, in an affordable, efficient and speedy manner, Parliament in 2002 made certain amendments in the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 (hereinafter ‘the Act’), and added Chapter VI-A for pre-litigation conciliation and settlement of the disputes.

This amendment, which gave birth to the system of PLA, was an attempt to further strengthen the system of Lok Adalat in India by institutionalising a forum for compulsory pre-litigation re-conciliation and settlement of disputes related to public utility services such as those related to transport, postal, sanitation, education, dispensary, banking, insurance, housing and real estate, power, light, water, etc.[5]

Further, the unique feature of PLA is that, unlike Lok Adalat, it is a hybrid mechanism of reconciliation and adjudication. In Interglobe Aviation Ltd v. N. Satchidanand,[6] the Supreme Court of India said that the procedural trait of PLA is CON-ARB (that is “conciliation-cum- arbitration”). Further, in Bar Council of India v. Union of India[7], it was said that PLAs are empowered to decide the dispute on merits upon failure between the parties to arrive at a settlement by the way of conciliation.[8]

This means that PLA has twofold power. First: it has the power to conduct the conciliation proceedings between the parties, taking into consideration the circumstances surrounding the dispute, to help them reach an amicable solution in an impartial, speedy, and independent manner.Second: if during the conciliatory proceedings in action, the panel of neutrals realises that one of the parties is unnecessarily becoming adamant to not settle the dispute, even when there exist possible “elements of settlement” for the parties to sign an ‘agreement of settlement on dispute’, then the PLA also has the power to give a decision in the dispute, provided that the dispute does not relate to any non-compoundable offence.[10]

Therefore, the major advantage of PLA is that even though it is a forum for ADR which primarily aims at resolving disputes consensually, yet it is empowered to give a final and binding decision when one of the parties purposefully gets unwilling to settle a fit case.

Are the awards of PLA appealable?

Every award of PLA is final and binding[11] and “shall not be called into question in any original suit, application or execution proceeding”[12]. Here, one may argue that the appeal of the award of PLA should be possible primarily because (i) the Act expressly doesn’t bar the appeal for the award of PLA whereas it does expressly bar the appeal for the award of Lok Adalat under Section 21(2) of the Act which says that “no appeal shall lie to any court against the award [of Lok Adalat]”[13] and (ii) because PLA can adjudicate a dispute on the merits of the case which opens room for the aggrieved party to move the award in appeal, in contrast to Lok Adalat which only conciliates a dispute and passes award on the consent of the parties, thus, leaving no room for an appeal.[14]

However, the Supreme Court of India refuted these arguments in Bar Council of India[15](supra), and held that the award of PLA is non-appealable. It further clarified that (i) the right to appeal is not an inherent right but a creation of statute; if a statute doesn’t expressly prohibits the appeal of an award, that by ipso facto doesn’t make an award appealable especially when the text of the statute strongly suggests otherwise; (ii) that PLAs are special tribunals aiming at resolving public utility disputes at the earliest, and hence, to avoid unnecessary prolongation, the right to appeal is absent; (iii) that if at all, a party is aggrieved by the adjudication of PLA, he always has an option to invoke the special and extraordinary jurisdiction of the High Court under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India.[16]

Procedure followed by PLA

The procedure followed by the PLA is in complete resonance with what is required to be followed in any ADR mechanism. The legislation requires that the proceedings in the PLA, both at the time of conciliation between the parties and at the time of deciding a dispute on merit if needed, should be guided by “the principles of natural justice, objectivity, fair play, equity, and other principles of justice.”[17] Moreover, it is required that the PLA should remain impartial and independent while conciliating the parties to reach an amicable solution.[18] Further, as far as procedural applicability is concerned, the PLA is not bound by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and the Evidence Act, 1872[19]. However, “for the purpose of holding any determination”, the PLA shall have the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 while trying a suit.[20]

Suggestions

While PLA is one of the fastest growing ADR institutions in the country, its jurisdiction to entertain only the matters related to the public utility services needs to be expanded. I suggest that the civil dispute claims such as breach of contract claims, tort claims, equitable claims, traffic rules claims, negotiable instrument claims, etc., must also be put under the purview of PLA. Here, it is noteworthy that according to the 245th Report of the Law Commission of India, the disputes related to negotiable instruments, police and traffic challan, electricity bills, and sanitation are the source of excessive litigation in the country.[21]

The huge backlog of cases only makes justice less accessible. Therefore, to reduce the backlog of cases, and in the interest of speedy justice, it is suggested that such disputes should compulsorily be resolved through PLA.

Further, after regarding the composition of PLA, it is my suggestion that there should be some definite definition of the term persons “having adequate experience in public utility service”.[22] In SN Pandey v. Union of India[23], the Supreme Court of India said that “We do emphasis that the persons who are appointed on the Permanent Lok Adalats should be person of integrity and adequate experience. Appropriate rules, inter alia in this regard, no doubt will have to be framed, if not already in place”.[24] Hence, it is proposed that the Government should notify certain specifications for the appointment of the neutrals in the panel of a PLA.

Lastly, a time-frame needs to be introduced for resolution of disputes in PLAs. Currently, there is no time limit for the resolution of disputes that are filed before PLAs.Therefore, if disputes are left unresolved for a longer period, there will be ambiguity and instances of unchecked discretionary actions by the PLA panels. Hence, to keep alive the spirit of PLA, a time-frame must be defined by the Government.

PLA vis-à-vis International Arbitration Institutions

Whether it can be said that PLA is an Indian model bearing close similarity to international arbitration tribunals?

While there are a few procedural similarities between the PLA and international arbitration institutions, the system of PLA is a unique one. The unique model devised to grant justice to the common man makes PLA stand out in the world from the rest of the ADR institutions.

The PLA charges zero fee for the resolution of disputes[25]. Also, the parties have the option of arguing their case by themselves, thus allowing them to save on the lawyer’s cost. In contrast, resolving a dispute before an international tribunal through any mode of ADR viz. arbitration, mediation, or conciliation is very costly. It involves hefty administration fee, counsel fee, neutrals’ fee (i.e. the fee charged by the panel of arbitrators, mediators, or conciliators as the case may be) among others.

Further, the PLA model is inherently a ‘multi-tier dispute resolution’ model i.e. it first provides conciliation of the dispute, and, if the conciliation fails because of the adamant nature charged with mala fide of one of the parties, then the PLA can even adjudicate the dispute. Whereas, to avail a multi-tier dispute resolution process before an international tribunal, it requires (i) consent of the parties at dispute, (ii) a multi-tier dispute resolution clause, (iii) time, resources, and efforts to defend any challenge related to the existence, validity, invocation, or qualification of the multi-tier dispute resolution clause, and (iv) multiple costs at every tier of the multi-tier dispute resolution.

Furthermore, under the PLA model, the parties do not have to decide anything ‘mutually’ concerning the dispute resolution before entering into any contractual relationship relating to the use of public utility services. PLAs are government institutions which provide CON-ARB form of ADR with pre-defined procedure, rules, composition and qualifications of the panelists, and which are currently located at 298 different ‘places’ in India. A party can unilaterally invoke the jurisdiction of the PLA without the need for any pre-existing dispute resolution agreement. In contrast, the resolution of a dispute before an international tribunal is purely based on ‘party autonomy’ and existence of a valid ‘dispute resolution agreement’. Thus, the parties have to mutually agree upon the form of ADR, its procedure, forum, place, venue, number of arbitrators (or mediators or conciliators as the case may be), subject-matter, etc., before entering into any contractual relationship. This involves a lot of time, effort, and resources both during the drafting of the dispute resolution agreement and thereafter, during defending its ingredients before the tribunal. The system of PLA, therefore, provides an escape route from these complexities and challenges, thus, saving a lot of time, resources and energy of the parties, and ensuring a time-bound resolution of the dispute.

Finally, the subject-matter of disputes before PLAs and international tribunals is largely different. PLAs aim at resolving public utility disputes at the domestic level while the international tribunals function to resolve international/domestic commercial disputes, investor-State treaty disputes, and State-to-State disputes. Both the tribunals, however, share similarity so far as both are (i) institutionalised forum of ADR and (ii) not bound by the domestic rules of evidence and civil procedure.

The advantages of the PLA cannot be compared readily with those of international tribunals. PLA is a forum that provides justice to the common man whereas international tribunals are predominantly of the rich and the corporate.

CONCLUSION

PLA – the unique hybrid of reconciliation and adjudication in India- is the Indian contribution to the world ADR jurisprudence. The PLA performs the function of promoting and strengthening the principle of “equal access to justice” in the country.  It is very popular among the litigants and legal functionaries not only because of its innovative nature and inexpensiveness but also because it serves the common man. The country which is infected with illiteracy, poverty, downtrodden and pendency of cases, PLA is the institutional ADR mechanism progressing towards the attainment of the principle of “Gram Swaraj” and the constitutional promise of justice to everyone at the doorstep.


*IV Year BA LLB (Hons.) student at Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur. Email id: prakhar.spc@gmail.com

[1] Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth 158 (1959).

[2] Ibid, 158-59 (1959).

[3] National Legal Service Authority, Permanent Lok Adalat, April 2018 to March 2019, National Legal Service Authority of India (May 02, 2020, 02:05 Am)

[4] Section 22-C(1) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

[5] See Section 22-A(b) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

See also, National Legal Service Authority, Lok Adalat: Permanent Lok Adalat, National Legal Service Authority of India (May 02, 2020, 02:25 Am), https://nalsa.gov.in/lok-adalat.

[6] (2011) 7 SCC 463

[7] (2012) 8 SCC 243

[8] See also, Section 22-C(8) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

[9] S.N. Pandey v. Union of India, (2012) 8 SCC 261

[10] Section 22-C(7) read with Section 22-C(8) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

[11] Section 22-E(1) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

[12] Section 22-E(4) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

[13] Section 21(2) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

[14] P.T. Thomas v. Thomas Job, (2005) 6 SCC 478

[15] (2012) 8 SCC 243

[16] Bar Council of India v. Union of India, (2012) 8 SCC 243

[17] Section 22-D of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

[18] Section 22-C(5) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

[19] Section 22-D of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

[20] Section 22(1) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

See also, Bar Council of India v. Union of India (2012) 8 SCC 243.

[21] Law Commission of India, Report No. 245 on Arrears and Backlog: Creating Additional Judicial (wo)manpower, Government of India, (July 2014) 

[22] Section 22-B(2)(b) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987

[23] (2012) 8 SCC 261

[24] SN Pandey v. Union of India, (2012) 8 SCC 261

[25] National Legal Service Authority, Lok Adalat, National Legal Service Authority of India (May 04, 2020), https://nalsa.gov.in/lok-adalat.

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench headed by SA Bobde, CJ has dismissed a batch of petitions seeking review of its November 9 Ayodhya land dispute verdict, which cleared the way for construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site. The bench took these review pleas for consideration in-chamber, rejected them after finding no merits.

On November 9, the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ, S.A. Bobde, Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ, sat down on a Saturday morning, otherwise a holiday, to finally put an end to the Ayodhya Title dispute and held that the disputed land is to be given to Trust for construction of Ram Mandir. In an effort to balance the interest of both the parties involved, the Court directed  that a suitable plot of 5 acres must be granted to Sunni Waqf Board to set up a Mosque. The sensitivity of the issue was evident from the fact that the1045 pages long ‘unanimous’ verdict was silent on who wrote it. One of the 5-judges wrote a separate but concurring opinion on the issue whether disputed structure is the holy birthplace of Lord Ram as per the faith, belief and trust of the Hindus. The name of the judge was, however, not disclosed as well.

After noticing that the allotment of in respect of the possessory claim of the Hindus to the composite whole of the disputed property stands on a better footing than the evidence adduced by the Muslims, the Court gave the following directions:

  • Central Government to formulate a scheme for he setting up of a trust with a Board of Trustees or any other appropriate body within 3 months. Nirmohi Akhara to be given adequate representation in the Trust.
  • Possession of the inner and outer courtyards shall be handed over to the Board of Trustees of the Trust or to the body so constituted. Possession of the disputed property shall continue to vest in the statutory receiver under the Central Government till then.
  • A suitable plot of land admeasuring 5 acres be allotted to the Sunni Central Waqf Board either by
    • The Central Government out of the land acquired under the Ayodhya Act 1993; or
    • The State Government at a suitable prominent place in Ayodhya.

Also read:

Here’s why the 5-judge bench held that the disputed Ayodhya site belongs to the Hindus

Law School NewsLive Blogging

Welcome to the Delhi Summit of the Indian Mediation Week 2019! The event is taking place at the Constitutional Club of India in Delhi. The theme of the summit is Promoting ADR and Technology in Government Disputes.

10:00 AM – The registration for the event has begun! The summit will be attended by various law school students, lawyers and ADR experts.

11:00 AM – The Summit is underway! Pranjal Sinha, the Chief-Coordinator of Indian Mediation Week and one of the Co-founders of SAMA, addresses the crowd and welcomes everyone to the event.

11:02 AM – The Summit kickstarts with a video which describes the origin of Indian Mediation Week.

11:07 AM – Pranjal describes the state of Indian judiciary and the huge number of pending cases.

11:13 AM – Akshetha Ashok, one of the co-founders of the SAMA, invites Bhaskar Bhartendu to the stage.

11:14 AM : Bhaskar describes the importance of conversation in our day to day lives. Bhaskar proceeds to describe the impact IMW has had through its history. Team IMW has conducted 5000+ drives in the last 3 years with the help of 4000+ volunteers across 65 cities.

11:17 AM : The ambassadors from the North Zone are lauded for their marvelous efforts through the course of the campaign.

11:18 AM : Pranjal invites on stage the 1st Keynote speaker of the Summit, Mr. Sunil Chauhan , the director of NALSA.

11:22 AM : Mr. Chauhan focuses on the lack of awareness regarding Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms across the country. The director of NALSA also describes the various barriers which have created the huge backlog of cases in the country. He elucidates the benefits of ADR mechanisms. He explains the financial burden and policy which restrict the Government from settling its cases through ADR mechanisms. He suggests that there should be development of a culture which promotes ADR and identification of cases which can be settled through ADR mechanisms. He explains that the officials who visit the courts do not the authorization to settle cases which has proved to be the biggest obstacle in the past. The keynote address ends with him encouraging the young upcoming lawyers to promote ADR in the days to come.

11:35 AM : Pranjal thanks Mr. Sunil Chauhan for his insightful address.

11:43AM : Mr. Sunil Chauhan is facilitated by Kritika Bhatt and Nipun Katahar, two of the student ambassadors of Indian Mediation Week.

11:46 AM : Pranjal invites the second keynote speaker of the day Mr. Sanjeev Ahuja on stage. Mr. Sanjeev Ahuja is an ADR expert and the founding director of Ensemble Resolution Professionals.

11:48 AM : Mr. Ahuja explains the motto of the campaign ” Suljhao, Magar Pyaar se“. He explains that in a litigation case the resolution of the dispute takes place at the loss of one of the parties. He focuses on the loss of Pyaar or love and respect between the parties in a case being pursued through litigation. He explains the benefits of mediation and states that mediation is the future of dispute resolution. He also explains the need to identify cases which are fit for mediation. This would help in effective dispute resolution. He ends his address by congratulating SAMA for organizing yet another successful edition of Indian Mediation Week.

11:57 AM : Akshetha thanks Mr. Ahuja for his wonderful address. The floor has now been opened for questions.

12:13 PM : Mr. Ahuja is felicitated by Prashant Mishra, one of the top performing ambassadors of Indian Mediation Week.

12:15 PM: Anushka Thakur, one of the most hardworking ambassadors of Indian Mediation Week, is felicitated by the two keynote speakers. She has proved to be a true asset to the team.

12:16 PM : We move on and Pranjal invites Ayush Rastogi ,founder of AfPR, to the stage. He focused on students who are interested in international law can join AfPR and create literature in contemporary fields such as criminal law and arbitration.

12:23 PM : Ayush ended his speech by inviting the students to pitch in more ideas and make efforts in a collaborative manner.

12:24 PM : We move on to the next segment, the Case management workshop being conducted by SAMA. We look at the feasibility of Mediation as a profession. Pranjal and Akshetha tell us about the qualities of a good case manager which include communication skills, neutrality and confidentiality. A case manager works along with the mediator and helps in prompt scheduling. One also needs to give feedback about the performance of the mediators. One has a more administrative role and is not allowed to enter the merits of the case. The focus of a case manager has to be the resolution of the case.

12:50 PM : The case management workshop ends with an informative Q&A session. The various steps required in order to become a mediator were the focus of the questions.

1:00 PM : The Summit ends with the distribution of certificates to the people in attendance.

We thank you for joining us for the Delhi Summit of Indian Mediation Week! We will see you next time!

Case BriefsSupreme Court (Constitution Benches)

Supreme Court:

“This Court as the final arbiter must preserve the sense of balance that the beliefs of one citizen do not interfere with or dominate the freedoms and beliefs of another.”

As the entire nation held it’s breath, the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ, S.A. Bobde, Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ, sat down on a Saturday morning, otherwise a holiday, to finally put an end to the Ayodhya Title dispute and held that the disputed land is to be given to Trust for construction of Ram Mandir. In an effort to balance the interest of both the parties involved, the Court directed  that a suitable plot of 5 acres must be granted to Sunni Waqf Board to set up a Mosque. It said,

“justice would not prevail if the Court were to overlook the entitlement of the Muslims who have been deprived of the structure of the mosque through means which should not have been employed in a secular nation committed to the rule of law.”

However, the 1045 pages long ‘unanimous’ verdict is silent on who wrote it. One of the 5-judges wrote a separate but concurring opinion on the issue whether disputed structure is the holy birthplace of Lord Ram as per the faith, belief and trust of the Hindus. The name of the judge was, however, not disclosed as well.

Here are the key takeaways from the Ayodhya Verdict

Conclusion on Title

“The allotment of in respect of the possessory claim of the Hindus to the composite whole of the disputed property stands on a better footing than the evidence adduced by the Muslims.”

  • On the balance of probabilities, there is clear evidence to indicate that the worship by the Hindus in the outer courtyard continued unimpeded in spite of the setting up of a grill-brick wall in 1857. Their possession of the outer courtyard stands established together with the incidents attaching to their control over it.
  • As regards the inner courtyard, there is evidence on a preponderance of probabilities to establish worship by the Hindus prior to the annexation of Oudh by the British in 1857. The Muslims have offered no evidence to indicate that they were in exclusive possession of the inner structure prior to 1857 since the date of the construction in the sixteenth century.
  • The Muslims were dispossessed upon the desecration of the mosque on 22/23 December 1949 which was ultimately destroyed on 6 December 1992. However, there was no abandonment of the mosque by the Muslims.

Though it held that Ram Mandir be built at the disputed site, the Court, however, directed

“Having weighed the nature of the relief which should be granted to the Muslims, we direct that land admeasuring 5 acres be allotted to the Sunni Central Waqf Board either by the Central Government out of the acquired land or by the Government of Uttar Pradesh within the city of Ayodhya.”

Legality of Allahabad High Court verdict

The three-way bifurcation by the High Court was legally unsustainable. Even as a matter of maintaining public peace and tranquillity, the solution which commended itself to the High Court is not feasible. The disputed site admeasures all of 1500 square yards. Dividing the land will not subserve the interest of either of the parties or secure a lasting sense of peace and tranquillity.

Ram Lalla is a Juristic person

In the case of Hindu idols, legal personality is not conferred on the idol simpliciter but on the underlying pious purpose of the continued worship of the deity as incarnated in the idol. Where the legal personality is conferred on the purpose of a deity‘s continued worship, moving or destroying the idol does not affect its legal personality.

Ram Janmbhoomi is not a Juristic person

The conferral of juristic personality is a legal innovation applied by courts in situations where the existing law of the day has certain shortcomings or such conferral increases the convenience of adjudication. In the present case, the existing law is adequately equipped to protect the interests of the devotees and ensure against maladministration without recognising the land itself as a legal person. Hence, it is not necessary to embark on the journey of creating legal fictions that may have unintended consequences in the future.

Nirmohi Akhara‘s claim to possession of the inner courtyard

Nirmohi Akhara had denied the existence of the mosque & had said that the structure is a temple and not a mosque & that it had exclusive possession of the inner courtyard. It was also it’s case that no incident had taken place on 22/23 December 1949, when the idols were surreptitiously installed into the disputed structure. Refusing to accept the submissions, the Court has held,

“The mosque was partially damaged in 1934 and subsequently, obstructions were placed in the course of offering namaz in the mosque involving a denial of the right to pray for the Muslims. This is followed by the events which took place on 22/23 December 1949 when idols were surreptitiously placed under the central dome. Soon thereafter, proceedings were initiated under Section 145 resulting in the attachment of the property. In this background, it is difficult to accept the case of Nirmohi Akhara that the disputed structure was a temple which was in its exclusive possession and that no incident had taken place on 22/23 December 1949.”

Nirmohi Akhara is not a shebait

A stray or intermittent exercise of management rights does not confer upon a claimant the position in law of a de facto shebait. It cannot be said that the acts of Nirmohi Akhara satisfy the legal standard of management and charge that is exclusive, uninterrupted and continuous over a sufficient period of time. Despite their undisputed presence at the disputed site, Nirmohi Akhara is not a shebait.

Archaeological Survey of India’s Report

Taking into account the archaeological evidence of a massive structure just below the now falled Babri Masjid and evidence of continuity in structural phases from the tenth century onwards upto the construction of the disputed structure along with the yield of stone and decorated bricks as well as mutilated sculpture of divine couple and carved architectural members including foliage patters, amalaka, kapotapali doorjamb with semi-circular pilaster, broken octagonal shaft of black schist pillar, lotus motif, circular shrine having pranala (waterchute) in the north, fifty pillar bases in association of the huge structure, are indicative of remains which are distinctive features found associated with the temples of north India.

Sunni Waqf Board’s claim to possession

The Sunni Central Waqf Board has not established its case of a dedication by user. The alternate plea of adverse possession has not been established by the Sunni Central Waqf Board as it failed to meet the requirements of adverse possession. Since the Hindus have been in exclusive and unimpeded possession of the outer courtyard where they have continued worship, Sunni Waqf Board can’t be held to have the possession of the disputed property.

Destruction of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992

The destruction of the mosque took place in breach of the order of status quo and an assurance given to this Court. The destruction of the mosque and the obliteration of the Islamic structure was an egregious violation of the rule of law.

Dismissal of Shia Central Board of Waqf’s SLP

The Waqf Board was not able to explain the inordinate delay of 24964 days in filing the Special Leave Petition against the final judgment dated 30 March 1946 of the Civil Judge, Faizabad. The SLP was, hence, dismissed.

Directions

  • Central Government to formulate a scheme for he setting up of a trust with a Board of Trustees or any other appropriate body within 3 months. Nirmohi Akhara to be given adequate representation in the Trust.
  • Possession of the inner and outer courtyards shall be handed over to the Board of Trustees of the Trust or to the body so constituted. Possession of the disputed property shall continue to vest in the statutory receiver under the Central Government till then.
  • A suitable plot of land admeasuring 5 acres be allotted to the Sunni Central Waqf Board either by
    • The Central Government out of the land acquired under the Ayodhya Act 1993; or
    • The State Government at a suitable prominent place in Ayodhya.

[M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2019 SCC OnLine 1440, decided on 09.11.2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court:  The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ, S.A. Bobde, Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ will deliver its verdict on the Ayodhya dispute on Saturday, ending decades of uncertainty ever since the Babri Mosque was demolished in 1992.

The notice published on the Supreme Court website reads:

“Take notice that the matters above mentioned will be listed tomorrow i.e. 9.11.2019 (Saturday) at 10.30 a.m. For pronouncement of judgment in Chief Justice’s court before the bench comprising Ranjan Gogoi, CJ, S.A. Bobde, Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ.”

Earlier today, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi held a meeting on Friday with Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and state DGP Om Prakash Singh to take stock of law and order situation in the state.

Security arrangements have been beefed up in various parts of Uttar Pradesh, especially in Ayodhya district, in view of the impending judgment in the case. Section 144 has been imposed in the district till December 10.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had held a meeting on Thursday via video conferencing with all district magistrates and senior officials directing them to crack down on those trying to disrupt peace. He also asked the officials to stay alert and pro-active.

Between August to October, the Supreme Court held a day-to-day hearing for 40 days on a batch of petitions challenging Allahabad High Court’s order trifurcating the 2.77 acres of the disputed land at Ayodhya into three equal parts to Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi Akhara. The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Ahead of the impending verdict in the Ayodhya case, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi held a meeting on Friday with Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and state DGP Om Prakash Singh to take stock of law and order situation in the
state, sources said.

The officials briefed the Chief Justice about their preparedness in handling the law and order situation. They also said that the administration is ready to deal with any kind of situation across the state. In the meeting lasted a little more than an hour, the CJI asked officials to take all necessary steps and ensure that no untoward incident takes place in any place in the state.

Security arrangements have been beefed up in various parts of Uttar Pradesh, especially in Ayodhya district, in view of the impending judgment in the case. Section 144 has been imposed in the district till December 10.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had held a meeting on Thursday via video conferencing with all district magistrates and senior officials directing them to crack down on those trying to disrupt peace. He also asked the officials to stay alert and pro-active.

Between August to October, the Supreme Court held a day-to-day hearing for 40 days on a batch of petitions challenging Allahabad High Court’s order trifurcating the 2.77 acres of the disputed land at Ayodhya into three equal parts to Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmohi
Akhara. The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

The judgment is expected to be pronounced before November 17, when CJI Gogoi demits office.

(Source: ANI)


More from the day-to-day hearing in Ayodhya Title Dispute:

Won’t hear the matter for even a single extra day after October 18: SC to all counsels

SC asks parties to come up with tentative timeline for conclusion of arguments

SC slams Nirmohi Akhara for opposing Ram Lalla’s plea; Says you ‘stand’ or ‘fall’ together

No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

Both Hindus & Muslims have always called the disputed site a ‘Janmasthana’: Ram Lalla’s counsel

SC rejects Sr Adv Rajeev Dhavan’s plea against 5-days a week hearing

Arguments advanced on whether there was an existing temple at the disputed site

Court shouldn’t go beyond rationality of belief of Ayodhya being Lord Ram’s birthplace: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Excavations show that a massive Lord Ram temple existed at the disputed site: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Babri Masjid was built either on the ruins of Ram Mandir or by pulling it down: Ram Lalla’s counsel

There was a temple in the inner courtyard of the disputed site: Nirmohi Akhara

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Hari Pal Verma, J. allowed the petition filed for quashing of FIR under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 on the ground that the matrimonial dispute had been resolved by mediation.

An FIR was filed against the petitioner’s husband accusing him of cruelty and breach of trust against her under Sections 498-A, 406 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The parties were directed for the process of mediation and they further decided to compromise before the Mediation and Conciliation Center, Barnala. The complainant agreed upon the settlement agreement and stated that she had no objection on quashing of the all the proceedings against the petitioner.

The present court directed the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Barnala to get the statements recorded and send its report in order to check the genuineness of the compromise. Further the same was received by the Court and it stated that it was unnecessary to continue the proceeding before the trial court.

Relying on the decision of Supreme Court in Gold Quest International (P) Ltd. v. State of Tamil Nadu, (2014) 15 SCC 235 which held that under matrimonial or civil property disputes of criminal nature if the parties have entered into settlement then it is legal to quash the proceeding under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure along with Article 226 of the Constitution of India; this Court allowed the petition for quashing of FIR and all subsequent proceedings as per compromise entered between the parties. [Sheenu Gupta v. State of Punjab, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 1399, decided on 02-08-2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The 40-days long Ayodhya title dispute hearing has finally come to an end today. The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ has reserved it’s verdict in one of the most controversial cases this country has seen.

Earlier today, the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had said that the daily hearing on the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid land dispute will end by 5 pm today. He said,

“By 5 pm this matter is going to be over. Enough is enough,”

The Court had, though, initially set October 18 as the deadline for completion of all arguments in the protracted land title dispute. If speculations are to be believed, the Ayodhya verdict will be out by mid-nov.

A 5-judge bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

 

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: On the 40th day of the Ayodhya Title dispute hearing, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said that the daily hearing on the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid land dispute will end by 5 pm today.

“By 5 pm this matter is going to be over. Enough is enough,”

Justice Gogoi dismissed the intervention application filed by the Hindu Maha Sabha seeking more time for arguments. The Hindu Maha Sabha is one of the parties in the dispute, Gogoi however, did not make any mention of the Sunni Waqf Board which withdrew its appeal.
Earlier yesterday, the CJI had said that Wednesday will be the 40th and last day of hearing.

During the hearing in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Justice Gogoi had said:

“Today is 39th day. Tomorrow is 40th day and last day of hearing in the case.”

A 5-judge bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI)

Case Briefs

Supreme Court: Considering the threat perceptions of Zufar Ahmad Faruqui, Chairman, U.P. Sunni Central Waqf Board, the Court has dire ted the State of U.P. to forthwith provide adequate security to Faruqui. The said order came on the 38th day of Ayodhya title dispute hearing that is being going on before the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ.

Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan, the counsel for the Sunni Central Waqf Board, one of the parties in the case, has told the Supreme Court that it possesses the impugned land,

“We have been in possession throughout. There is nothing to suggest or show that the plaintiff (Nirmohi Akahara and others) are the proprietor of the disputed Ayodhya land title dispute land in question,”

The counsel said that there is no proof by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to ascertain that a temple was destroyed to build the mosque at the impugned site. He argued,

“They claimed adverse possession since 1934 for which there is no proof,”

A 5-judge bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI)

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Ram Lalla Virajman, one of the parties in the Ayodhya title dispute case, on Monday told the Supreme Court that it does not want any mediation in the case. The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ has referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, famously known as the Ayodhya Dispute, to a Court-monitored Mediation.

The court gave a go-ahead to the mediation on UP Sunni Waqf Board and Nirmoni Akhada’s plea. Besides these two, no other party showed any interest in the mediation.

A 5-judge bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI)


More from the day-to-day hearing in Ayodhya Title Dispute:

Won’t hear the matter for even a single extra day after October 18: SC to all counsels

SC asks parties to come up with tentative timeline for conclusion of arguments

SC slams Nirmohi Akhara for opposing Ram Lalla’s plea; Says you ‘stand’ or ‘fall’ together

No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

Both Hindus & Muslims have always called the disputed site a ‘Janmasthana’: Ram Lalla’s counsel

SC rejects Sr Adv Rajeev Dhavan’s plea against 5-days a week hearing

Arguments advanced on whether there was an existing temple at the disputed site

Court shouldn’t go beyond rationality of belief of Ayodhya being Lord Ram’s birthplace: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Excavations show that a massive Lord Ram temple existed at the disputed site: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Babri Masjid was built either on the ruins of Ram Mandir or by pulling it down: Ram Lalla’s counsel

There was a temple in the inner courtyard of the disputed site: Nirmohi Akhara

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Indicating that judgment in Ayodhya dispute case is likely to be delivered before CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s retirement in November, the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ has said that it cannot grant even a single extra day beyond October 18 to all petitioners to complete their submissions after it was apprised by the lawyers that their submissions will be completed by the said date in “all the possibilities and manner”.

The Court has set October 18 as deadline for completion of all arguments in the protracted land title dispute, a move that has raised the possibility of a verdict in the politically sensitive case in the middle of November.

A 5-judge bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI)


More from the day-to-day hearing in Ayodhya Title Dispute:

SC asks parties to come up with tentative timeline for conclusion of arguments

SC slams Nirmohi Akhara for opposing Ram Lalla’s plea; Says you ‘stand’ or ‘fall’ together

No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

Both Hindus & Muslims have always called the disputed site a ‘Janmasthana’: Ram Lalla’s counsel

SC rejects Sr Adv Rajeev Dhavan’s plea against 5-days a week hearing

Arguments advanced on whether there was an existing temple at the disputed site

Court shouldn’t go beyond rationality of belief of Ayodhya being Lord Ram’s birthplace: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Excavations show that a massive Lord Ram temple existed at the disputed site: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Babri Masjid was built either on the ruins of Ram Mandir or by pulling it down: Ram Lalla’s counsel

There was a temple in the inner courtyard of the disputed site: Nirmohi Akhara

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ has decided to hear the Ayodhya land dispute case for an extra hour from next Monday in order to conclude the hearing before the October 18 deadline fixed by it.

The bench told the counsel for both the Hindu and Muslim parties that it has decided to rise at 5 pm instead of 4 pm, which is the scheduled time to wrap up the day’s proceedings in the Supreme Court. “We can sit for extra one hour from Monday (September 23),” it said.

The Court has set October 18 as deadline for completion of all arguments in the protracted land title dispute, a move that has raised the possibility of a verdict in the politically sensitive case in the middle of November.

A 5-judge bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: PTI)


More from the day-to-day hearing in Ayodhya Title Dispute:

SC asks parties to come up with tentative timeline for conclusion of arguments

SC slams Nirmohi Akhara for opposing Ram Lalla’s plea; Says you ‘stand’ or ‘fall’ together

No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

Both Hindus & Muslims have always called the disputed site a ‘Janmasthana’: Ram Lalla’s counsel

SC rejects Sr Adv Rajeev Dhavan’s plea against 5-days a week hearing

Arguments advanced on whether there was an existing temple at the disputed site

Court shouldn’t go beyond rationality of belief of Ayodhya being Lord Ram’s birthplace: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Excavations show that a massive Lord Ram temple existed at the disputed site: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Babri Masjid was built either on the ruins of Ram Mandir or by pulling it down: Ram Lalla’s counsel

There was a temple in the inner courtyard of the disputed site: Nirmohi Akhara

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ has asked the parties in the Ayodhya land dispute to come up with a tentative time schedule or date when the arguments can be concluded.

On the 25th day of the arguments, the Court asked all parties to apprise it as to when their arguments are likely to be completed, hinting that the court can pronounce the judgment as submissions are over. When senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the Muslim side, sought a break in the hearing, the Court said,

“You (Dhavan) sit with your associates and inform about the number of days you will take to conclude your arguments,”

The Court also asked the Hindu parties as to how much more time will take to reply to Muslim parties.

During the course of the hearing, Dhavan read the pleadings of the Shia’s in order to show the position of Shia’s then and now. He submitted before the bench that there was no evidence to conclude that Lord Ram was born on the spot inside the central dome where the Babri Masjid once stood.

“There was no difference between Shias and Sunnis over the Babri Mosque and it was vested in Allah,”

Dhavan submitted some photos of Babri Mosque captured in 1950 in a bid to convince the court that the disputed land belonged to Muslims.

“We don’t have any objection to the Hindus, but the land belongs to us (Muslim side),”

A 5-judge bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI)


More from the day-to-day hearing in Ayodhya Title Dispute:

SC slams Nirmohi Akhara for opposing Ram Lalla’s plea; Says you ‘stand’ or ‘fall’ together

No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

Both Hindus & Muslims have always called the disputed site a ‘Janmasthana’: Ram Lalla’s counsel

SC rejects Sr Adv Rajeev Dhavan’s plea against 5-days a week hearing

Arguments advanced on whether there was an existing temple at the disputed site

Court shouldn’t go beyond rationality of belief of Ayodhya being Lord Ram’s birthplace: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Excavations show that a massive Lord Ram temple existed at the disputed site: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Babri Masjid was built either on the ruins of Ram Mandir or by pulling it down: Ram Lalla’s counsel

There was a temple in the inner courtyard of the disputed site: Nirmohi Akhara

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: When Nirmohi Akhara submitted that being the ‘shebait’ (devotee), only its lawsuit was maintainable and the case filed by deity Ram Lalla Virajman, through next friend Deoki Nandan Agrawal, should not be allowed, the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ said that the Akhara is “unnecessarily” opposing the plea of deity Ram Lalla for the title of disputed Ramjanam Bhoomi-Babri Masjid land as both the parties will “stand” or “fall” together. It said,

“There is no conflict between your (Akhara’s) suit and the suit filed by plaintiff number 1 (Ram Lalla)… Even if the suit of plaintiff (deity and others) is allowed, your right as ‘shebait’ stands.”

The bench asked senior advocate Sushil Jain, appearing for Nirmohi Akhara, that if the lawsuit of the deity was disallowed then for whom will the Akhara be ‘shebait’ of. It said,

“You cannot be the ‘shebait’ of the mosque. If your suit succeeds, it will be adverse to the deity.”

Sushil Jain, however, said the Akhara was not saying anything against the deity and moreover, the law is now well settled that the deity need not be a party in all the lawsuits and can be represented through ‘shebait’. He argued,

“A shebait can maintain the suit on behalf of the deity in its own name and need not implead the deity as a party.”

He submitted that though an idol is certainly a “juristic person”, it is permanently “linked” with the ‘shebait’ which can institute and maintain the lawsuits.

On this the bench said if a third party takes possession of the land of the deity then the ‘shebait’ may institute the lawsuit, but if there was a “vital interest” was involved, then the deity itself can initiate the lawsuits. Jain, however, said that the deity was not required to be made the party as the ‘shebait’ can do the needful. He further argued that the ‘shebait’ is ousted only when it is proved that it was acting against the interest of the deity and here, the Akhara is “claiming relief” for ‘Ram Lalla’ and there was “no conflict of interest”.

A 5-judge bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: FP)


More from the day-to-day hearing in Ayodhya Title Dispute:

No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

Both Hindus & Muslims have always called the disputed site a ‘Janmasthana’: Ram Lalla’s counsel

SC rejects Sr Adv Rajeev Dhavan’s plea against 5-days a week hearing

Arguments advanced on whether there was an existing temple at the disputed site

Court shouldn’t go beyond rationality of belief of Ayodhya being Lord Ram’s birthplace: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Excavations show that a massive Lord Ram temple existed at the disputed site: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Babri Masjid was built either on the ruins of Ram Mandir or by pulling it down: Ram Lalla’s counsel

There was a temple in the inner courtyard of the disputed site: Nirmohi Akhara

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Senior counsel appearing for Nirmohi Akhara, one of the parties in the Ayodhya title dispute case, told the Supreme Court that there was a temple in the inner courtyard of the disputed site.
Senior Advocate S K Jain told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that Muslims were not allowed to enter the temple area.

“There was no mosque there. As per the revenue records, it can be said that the land was in possession of the Nirmohi Akhara,”

The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI)


More from the day-to-day hearing in Ayodhya Title Dispute:

No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

Both Hindus & Muslims have always called the disputed site a ‘Janmasthana’: Ram Lalla’s counsel

SC rejects Sr Adv Rajeev Dhavan’s plea against 5-days a week hearing

Arguments advanced on whether there was an existing temple at the disputed site

Court shouldn’t go beyond rationality of belief of Ayodhya being Lord Ram’s birthplace: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Excavations show that a massive Lord Ram temple existed at the disputed site: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Babri Masjid was built either on the ruins of Ram Mandir or by pulling it down: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: On the 8th Day of the Ayodhya Title dispute hearing, Ram Lalla’s counsel, Senior Advocate CS Vaidyanathan, told the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ that the disputed structure (mosque) was put in place either on the ruins of the temple or by pulling it down.

“Pillar bases found by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have established the existence of a huge structure at the site of Babri Masjid. Other evidence revealed that it was a Hindu religious structure,”

The counsel relied on a document by the agency, which stated that a stone slab from the 12th century was recovered which had verses that spoke of King Govind Chandra, the king of a kingdom whose capital was Ayodhya.

“The verses found on the stone made it clear that there was a big Vishnu temple at that place and the ASI in the excavation had found the remains of that temple,”

The disputed site is considered to be Lord Ram’s Janmabhoomi (birthplace) and it has been the faith and belief of Hindus that make them visit the Ram janmabhoomi for darshan, the counsel added. He also read out the verbatim of the Muslim witnesses collated by him.

“The Muslim witness stated that if the mosque was built after the demolition of a temple, they will not consider it a mosque. He said that the mosque cannot be built on a forcibly occupied place,”

Vaidyanathan said that the Muslim side, including Sunni Wakf Board and others, had earlier said that there was no such pre-existing structure, but later changed their stand and said that the Islamic structure existed beneath Babri Masjid.

A five-judge constitution bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI)


More from the day-to-day hearing in Ayodhya Title Dispute:

No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

Both Hindus & Muslims have always called the disputed site a ‘Janmasthana’: Ram Lalla’s counsel

SC rejects Sr Adv Rajeev Dhavan’s plea against 5-days a week hearing

Arguments advanced on whether there was an existing temple at the disputed site

Court shouldn’t go beyond rationality of belief of Ayodhya being Lord Ram’s birthplace: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Excavations show that a massive Lord Ram temple existed at the disputed site: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: On the 7th Day of the Ayodhya Title dispute hearing, Ram Lalla’s counsel, Senior Advocate CS Vaidyanathan, told the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ that

“a “massive” temple of Lord Ram, dating back to the second century BC (Before Christ), existed at the disputed site in Ayodhya before the construction of Babri Masjid.”

He referred to the report of a court commissioner, appointed to inspect the site in 1950, and also relied upon the findings of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to buttress its claim over the disputed 2.77-acre land in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya. He submitted that according to the ASI report, there “existed a massive, pillar-based structure dating back to the second century BC and the ASI survey was conclusive about there being a ‘mandap’ at the site with pillars“.

The senior lawyer extensively referred to various pictures and reports, including the ASI’s findings on the excavated materials from the disputed site, and said, however, there was no such material to show that it was a temple of only Lord Ram. But the pictures of the deities, including those of Lord Shiva, sculptures on the pillars of “Garuda” flanked by lions and the images of lotus amply indicated that it was a temple and moreover, these things were not found in mosques.

“Keeping in mind the faith of Hindus and preponderance of probability, it would indicate that this was a temple of Lord Ram. … Along with the massive old structure, other materials found during excavation suggested that it was a temple,”

Referring to the Allahabad High Court order, he said one of the judges, Justice S U Khan, did not deal with the ASI report in his judgment and erroneously concluded that the mosque came up on a vacant land and on the ruins of a temple, while the other two judges took note of the report, which said there was a temple where the mosque came up.

When the bench noticed that the question before it was not about the structure but whether it was of religious nature before the mosque was built there, the counsel said,

“It was a temple where the public had access. The basic foundation was the same, while the structure was rebuilt. The underlying foundation never changed. There was a total of 17 rows of pillar bases and each row had five pillars,”

On this the bench asked,

“You also have a grave here. How would you interpret this,”

To this the counsel responded that the grave belonged to a much later period. He also added that there were several layers of excavations and the grave was not found during the deep excavation.

On the issue of “namaz” being offered at the disputed site in the past, Vaidyanathan said,

“Offering prayers cannot mean valid possession unless you already own it. If prayer is offered on the street, it cannot be a proof to own it,”

The bench said the question was whether the disputed structure was “built as a mosque or being used as a mosque“. On this the Counsel said,

“No mosque will ordinarily contain pillars of this nature,”

He said during the 1950 inspection itself, it was very clear that there were various “structures, images” that belied the claim that it was a mosque.

A five-judge constitution bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: PTI)


More from the day-to-day hearing in Ayodhya Title Dispute:

No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

SC seeks evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara

Both Hindus & Muslims have always called the disputed site a ‘Janmasthana’: Ram Lalla’s counsel

SC rejects Sr Adv Rajeev Dhavan’s plea against 5-days a week hearing

Arguments advanced on whether there was an existing temple at the disputed site

Court shouldn’t go beyond rationality of belief of Ayodhya being Lord Ram’s birthplace: Ram Lalla’s counsel

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC