Thursday, September 23, 2010

SC defers Allahabad HC verdict on Ayodhya Title suit till September 28

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred till September 28 the pronouncement of the Ayodhya verdict by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court.

The court issued notice to all the parties to the title suit and asked the attorney general to be present in the court when the case is heard on September 28.

The SC said there's no harm in giving negotiations a last try. It's a matter of consequences which will affect vast majority. A judgement will harden the parties. So give negotiations a chance.

Though one of the judges felt the plea to defer should be dismissed, he bowed to the other judge's wish.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court decided to examine this afternoon the plea for deferment of the Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit.

The apex court had yesterday declined to hear urgently the plea to postpone the Ayodhya title suit verdict by the Allahabad High Court tomorrow.

A bench of the court, while refusing to hear the petition filed by retired bureaucrat Ramesh Chand Tripathi, said that it did not have the "determination" to take up the issue and added that it will be listed before another Bench.

Tripathi had yesterday approached the apex court five days after the High Court's Ayodhya bench rejected his petition for deferring the verdict and to allow mediation to find a solution to the contentious dispute.

The Allahabad High Court had also imposed "exemplary costs" of Rs 50,000, terming Tripathi's effort for an out-of-court settlement of the dispute as a "mischievous attempt".

The Special Leave Petition by Tripathi, which sought some time to allow mediation, also challenged the costs imposed on him.

Like his petition before the High Court, Tripathi in his petition in the apex court, claimed that the verdict might disturb communal harmony and lead to violence in the country.

In the petition filed through advocate Sunil Jain, Tripathi had cited several reasons for deferment of the verdict, which he said would be in "public interest" in view of the apprehension of communal flare up, upcoming Commonwealth Games, elections in Bihar and violence in Kashmir Valley and Naxal-hit states.

The petition had feared that there would be inadequate security personnel in Uttar Pradesh to provide security.

Tripathi had also referred to an earlier order of the Court on July 27 last that parties concerned are at liberty to approach the Officer on Special Duty for formation of the bench if there was any possibility of disposal of the dispute or arrival at an understanding through consensus.

One of the three judges in the Lucknow bench, however, disagreed with the majority order rejecting the plea for deferring the Ayodhya verdict to allow mediation and gave a dissenting opinion that an amicable settlement could have been explored.

Justice Dharam Veer Sharma, while not concurring with the view of the other two judges--Justice S U Khan and Justice Sudhir Agarwal--also said in his dissenting judgement that he wasn't consulted when the three-judge bench gave the order while dismissing the plea for mediation.

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