NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Friday referred Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for court appointed and monitored mediation for a “permanent solution”.

A panel of mediators have been appointed and no impediment in law will stall the process.

Panel of mediators will be former SC judge F.M.I. Kalifulla as chairman, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.

Ayodhya dispute mediation will be held in Faizabad. It will be held with “utmost confidentiality”. Time given for mediation is 8 weeks and report to be filed in SC in 4 weeks.

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Ayodhya dispute mediators can co-opt more on the panel, if necessary. UP government is to provide them with facilities in Faizabad. Mediation will start in a week and will be held in-camera. Mediators can take legal assistance.

Supreme Court in its order also said that the reporting of the mediation proceedings in media will be banned.

The development is significant as it comes just weeks ahead of national elections due by May.

The Allahabad High Court had in 2010 carved up the land in the ration of 2:1 between the Hindus and the Muslims. Both sides have challenged the ruling. It has been pending in the top court ever since.

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The Hindu parties to the case, the Nirmohi Akhara, the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha and the All India Hindu Mahasabha have all expressed their opposition to mediation.

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