New Delhi: The five-judge bench of Supreme Court hearing the Ayodhya Ram Janmbhoomi title dispute case on Wednesday decided to reserve its order on mediation talks between Muslim and Hindu petitioners.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was scheduled to decide whether the case can be adjudicated through mediation.

The apex court bench also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer had earlier observed, that even if there is a “1 per cent chance of settling the dispute amicably, the parties should go for it.”

Beginning the hearing, the bench said, “It is not only about property. It is about mind, heart and healing, if possible.”

The first opposition over mediating talks came from the lawyer appearing for the Hindu Mahasabha, who said, “Hindus are not ready for any mediation… it’s a deity property and nobody has the right to mediate . For us it’s a sentimental issue… do not refer the matter to mediation.. we are waiting for outcome of result since 1950.”

Snubbing him, Justice SA Bobde said, “Are you not pre -judging the whole thing.. are you not saying it’s a failure even before it’s attempted. We think that is not fair .. when the court is ordering a mediation we are not yet assuming somebody will give up something .. we think it’s not primarily a dispute over the 1500 yards of land. This is about sentiment or faith.. do not think we are not conscious of it or do you think you have more faith than us.”

‘PANEL OF MEDIATORS’

Justice Bobde further added, “There need not be one mediator but a panel of mediators.”

The Supreme Court bench maintained, “We have no control over what happened in the past, who invaded, who was the king, temple or mosque. We know about the present dispute. We are concerned only about resolving the dispute.”

‘NO NEED OF MEDIA GAG’

Urging for restrained media coverage of the dispute, Justice Bobde said that a media gag was not necessary but, “no motive should be attributed to anyone when the mediation process is on.”

Subsequently, Advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who appeared for a group of Muslim petitioners claimed that they (Muslim petitioners) agree to mediate and further asked the bench to frame terms of mediation.

With both parties failing to come at a consensus, the Supreme Court reserved its order on the issue of referring Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case to court appointed and monitored mediation for “permanent solution”.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.