Considered as a pioneer of the mediation movement in India, senior advocate Sriram Panchu has been entrusted with the responsibility to resolve the politically sensitive Ayodhya title dispute case by the Supreme Court. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Friday ordered mediation for the 'permanent solution' of the issue. The top court also appointed a three-member panel of mediators. Sriram Panchu is one of the members. The other two members are Justice FMI Kalifulla and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Who is Sriram Panchu?
Sriram Panchu is a senior advocate and considered as a pioneer of India's mediation movement. He played a crucial role in establishing the country’s first court-annexed mediation center in Madras High Court in 2005 and assisted the Supreme Court of India and several High Courts in setting up mediation centers. He has authored two books on mediation - Settle for More – The Why, How and When of Mediation and Mediation: Practice and Law. A resident of Chennai, Panchu is a renowned member on the panel of international commercial mediators of recognised mediation institutions.
The top court has said that the mediation process will start within one week and should be concluded within the eight-week period. The panel of mediators will have to submit the first status report within four weeks.
The verdict was given by a five-judge Constitution Bench while hearing a bunch of petitions against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be divided equally among the three parties—the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.