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Ayodhya case: SC sets October 18 deadline, allows parties to go ahead with mediation process 


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed hope that all parties involved in the Ayodhya land dispute case will conclude their arguments by October 18 so that judges too can write the complete judgment within a stipulated time.

The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said, “As per the estimate of tentative dates to finish the hearing in the case, we can say that the submissions have to be likely completed by October 18. The Bench is hopeful let us all make joint efforts.”

This means the apex court will have a month to write the judgment and pronounce it before November 17, the scheduled retirement day of CJI.

The bench also stated that if the mediation panel wants to continue talks then it can continue simultaneously the process with court hearings. 

The bench, however, said that the mediation would continue to be confidential proceedings as directed earlier. The day to day hearing in the apex court will also go on.

The response came on the letter written by Sunni Wakf board and Nirvani Akhara to the SC appointed mediation panel comprising ex-SC judge F M I Kalifulla, renowned mediator Sriram Panchu and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar for the resumption of mediation for a negotiated settlement.

The court also hinted at holding hearings in the case for extended one hour each day, with special sittings on Saturday, which is officially an off day for the apex court.