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SC Stays Ayodhya verdict by one week

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the verdict in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit case saying the deferment is in public interest. The apex court stayed the verdict while hearing a special leave petition filed by Ram Chandra Tripathi and posted the matter for further hearing on September 28.

“The matter has been kept for further hearing on September 28. The Supreme Court has ordered that Allahabad High Court bench will not deliver the order tomorrow afternoon. We hope that on Supreme Court’s direction people of different communities come to a mutual agreement on the issue,” said senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the petitioner.

The two-judge bench comprising Justices RV Raveendran and HL Gokhale stayed the verdict for a week following conflicting views over the issue of entertaining the petition challenging the Allahabad High Court order. The court also issued notices to contesting parties on the petition seeking stay on the Allahabad High Court order which refused to defer the verdict in the suit.

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.”

Ram Janambhoomi Punaruddhar Samiti lawyer Ranjana Agnihotri called the court’s stay order as “disheartening”.

“We were ready for the judgement, whichever way it went. I think some politicians did not want this judgement to come out. This has hurt us. This is a very disheartening judgement. All parties were ready for whatever judgement would be coming,” said Ranjana.

Sunni Central Waqf Board lawyer said there is no hope for reconciliation in the matter.

“If they want to wait for the verdict for some more days, that’s fine with us. I am not all disappointed. I have been arguing in this court for 24 years. We are hoping that matter comes up on 28th. There is no hope for reconciliation,” said Sunni Central Waqf Board counsel Zafaryab Jilani.

Jilani also claimed that both parties to the dispute have been appealing not to express any comment, to maintain peace and not react so he could not understand what the court was worried about.

The verdict in title suit dispute was due to be pronounced on September 24 by a three-judge Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court comprising of Justice SU Khan, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice DV Sharma.

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court was to deliver the judgement on the title suit to decide who owned the 2.77 acres of disputed land on which Babri Masjid stood.

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