New Delhi: The Supreme Court will announce its verdict on a petition seeking deferment of the Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit dispute at 2 PM on Tuesday. A three-judge special bench comprising of Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia, Justice Aftab Alam and Justice KS Radhakrishnan has completed hearing the arguments by different parties on the petition moved by Ramesh Chandra Tripathi to postpone the verdict in the case so that efforts could made to reach an out-of-court settlement.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi started the argument on behalf of Tripathi while former attorney general Soli Sorabjee appeared for Sunni Wakf Board. For the first the time the Centre made its stand clear and told the apex court that the uncertainty surrounding the verdict must end.
The Supreme Court had on September 23 issued an interim stay order on the title suit case verdict that was to be pronounced by the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court and posted the matter for further hearing on September 28. The two-judge Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice RV Raveendran and Justice HL Gokhale stayed the verdict in “public interest”.
Justice Raveendran was of the view that Tripathi’s petition should be dismissed while Justice Gokhale, on the other hand, was of the opinion that a notice should be issued for exploring the option of settlement.
However, Justice Raveendran, who was heading the bench, preferred to go by the opinion of Justice Gokhale. In the order, Justice Raveendran said, “When one of the judges has a difference of opinion then the tradition is to issue notice.”
Before filing his petition in the Supreme Court, Tripathi had moved the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court for deferment of the verdict. But his petition was turned down by the three-judge special bench of the High Court comprising of Justice SU Khan, Justice Sudhir Agrawal and Justice Dharam Veer Sharma.
The High Court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Tripathi.
Meanwhile, the Sunni Wakf Board on Monday claimed that the Ayodhya dispute cannot be sorted out through talks between the disputing parties while moving a petition in the Supreme Court. The Nirmohi Akhara, too, is planning to move the Supreme Court for postponement of the judgment for three months to facilitate an out-of-court settlement.
The verdict in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit dispute would decide whether the 2.77 acres of disputed land on which Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished on December 6, 1992 belongs to Sunni Central Wakf Board or to the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.
What each party wants:
Sunni Wakf Board: Opposed to deferment.
Nirmohi Akhara: Want deferment by three months to try to reach an out-of-court settlement.
Hindu Mahasabha: Opposed to deferment.
Gopal Visharad: Opposed to deferment.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram reviewed the security situation in Ayodhya and meeting top officials from his ministry and security agencies in New Delhi on Tuesday.