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Akhara seeks 'neutral place' for mediation procedure

Akhara seeks neutral place for mediation procedure

New Delhi: Nirmohi Akhara, one of the original litigants in the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, has requested the Supreme Court to consider moving the mediation panel proceedings from Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh to New Delhi or some other "neutral place" due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

It has also said that an amicable resolution would be possible only through "direct dialogue" between the UP Sunni Wakf Board and the Nirmohi Akhara.

Besides, it has further requested that two more retired judges of the apex court be appointed to the mediation panel which is exploring the possibility of an amicable settlement of the land dispute.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had on March 8 referred the land dispute case for mediation by a panel headed by former apex court judge F M I Kalifulla for exploring possibility of an amicable settlement.

The bench had said that spiritual guru and founder of Art of Living foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, a renowned mediator, will be the other two members of the panel of mediators and the proceedings will be held at Faizabad.

In its application dated March 25, 2019, Nirmohi Akhara has said that the original parties claiming title -- The Panch Ramanandi Nirmohi Akhara Ayodhya and The UP Sunni Central Waqf Board -- can be encouraged to have a dialogue under the aegis of the panel of mediators without requiring them to give proposals in writing.

Further, the application said: "Due to the sensitive nature of the issue, and other local pressures, this court may consider moving out the mediation proceedings from Faizabad to New Delhi or some other neutral place where adequate and genuine security could be provided to the concerned parties and their representatives to enable them to participate in the proceedings without any threat, persuasion or hindrance."

It said Nirmohi Akhara had participated in proceedings before the mediation panel on March 13 but "the proceedings left a lot to be desired".

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