New Delhi: After the Supreme Court referred the long-pending Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute for mediation ahead of upcoming Lok Sabha elections, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid said that the apex court has killed “two birds with one stone”.

“As far as the eight weeks’ time frame and elections are concerned, I believe the SC has killed two birds with one stone. Because this will make sure that the case will not be part of the election discourse and will be independent of that. And no one can use this issue. It will be done only after elections are done with,”a daily reported Salman Khurshid as saying.

Notably, a five-bench judge comprising of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer passed the order on Friday. The mediation process will start within a week by the court-appointed panel and the report needs to be presented to the top court within a month.

The mediation panel, appointed by the Supreme Court, include Justice F M Kalifulla, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu. Also, the proceedings would be confidential, would be held on-camera and the media has been banned from publishing its details.

The nomination of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been doubted with AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi questioning the guru’s neutrality on the matter owing to his controversial statements in the past. Owaisi was of the opinion that the spiritual guru might let the bias affect the judgement of the panel.

Activists and political figures across the divide welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to appoint a three-member committee to mediate on the Ayodhya issue, albeit some did it with a bit scepticism in view of the fate of past attempts on mediation.