Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, the ex-SC Judge Who Will Head Ayodhya Mediation Panel

New Delhi: For eight weeks beginning March 15, a three-member panel of mediators will attempt to arrive at a ‘permanent solution’ to the decades-old Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya.

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Friday appointed Justice (Retd) Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla as the head of the panel which will also include spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and mediation expert Sriram Panchu.

Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla

Son of former judge M. Fakkir Mohammed, Justice Kalifulla belongs to Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu.

Kalifulla enrolled as an advocate in 1975 and practised at the Madras high court.

He was appointed as a permanent judge of the Madras High Court on 2 March 2000. In 2011, he was transferred to the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Four months after the transfer, he was appointed the acting chief justice. On 18 September 2011, he was named the chief justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

Within six months, in April 2012, Kalifulla was elevated to the Supreme Court — he was the third Muslim judge at the top court after Justices Altamas Kabir and Aftab Alam.

He retired in July 2016.

Through his career, Justice Kalifulla authored several prominent orders. In a 1-1 split high court verdict, he once ordered bypolls in 99 of the 155 wards in Chennai. His observation was upheld when the matter was referred to a third judge who agreed with his judgment.

In another matter, the judge upheld the introduction of Vedic Astrology as a course in Science at Indian Universities.