New Delhi, 11 July: India's top court has fixed July 25 as the date to begin day-to-day hearings in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi Ayodhya land dispute, if mediation fails, media reports said on Thursday quoting the court authorities.
The court, while hearing a petition seeking an early hearing in the case, sought a progress report from the mediation panel by July 18. "The Supreme Court today sought the latest status report on the ongoing mediation proceedings in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi Ayodhya land dispute case within a week," Xinhua News Agency quoted a court official as saying.
"A five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, requested former apex court judge Justice F M I Kalifulla, chairperson of the three-member mediation panel, to submit the report by 18th of this month and said the court would pass further orders on the same date."
The apex court said after perusing the latest status report if it felt that the mediation process ought not to be concluded early, the main Ayodhya dispute case would be heard on a day-to-day basis from July 25. The demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 triggered a countrywide communal riot between Hindus and Muslims and claimed over 2,000 lives, mostly of Muslims. Many Hindus believe that the mosque was built over the birthplace of Hindu god -- Lord Ram. The Supreme Court has been hearing the petition on the dispute to decide to whom the site belongs.