Ayodhya case: HC judge gives dissenting note on rejecting

One of the three judges of the Allahabad HC has allowed postponement of Ayodhya verdict.

Lucknow: One of the three judges in the
Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Monday disagreed with
the majority order rejecting the plea for deferring the
Ayodhya verdict to allow mediation and wrote a dissenting note
saying 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 dissent note he wasn`t
consulted when the three- judge bench gave the order while
dismissing the plea for mediation.

A plea to defer the verdict on the Ram
Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit was rejected by the High
Court last Friday. This meant that the keenly awaited
judgement in the 60-year case will be pronounced on September

Favouring the option of exploring mediation or an
out-of-court settlement, Justice Sharma said looking to the
application for deferment from all and any angle the only
direction required to be given is that parties are free to
resolve their dispute amicably by compromise before the date
of delivery of the judgement and at this stage no interference
of the court is required.

"The application is disposed off accordingly," he
said. The application by Ramesh Chandra Tripathi was moved
under section 89 CPC.

"I am sorry to state that at the time of the passing
of the order I was not consulted, otherwise, I would have
given my views to honourable brother judges," Justice Sharma
said in his eight-page order.

While disagreeing with his two co-judges on a related
issue, Justice Sharma also said that Tripathi was not required
to pay costs of Rs 50,000. The two judges had slapped this
amount as "exemplary costs" after terming his effort for an
out-of-court settlement as a "mischievous attempt."

The majority order while dimissing the application said
it was aimed at "creating obstruction" in the final disposal
of the matter.

"Defendant number 17 (Tripathi) is not required to pay
costs for Rs 50,000," Justice Sharma said in his order.

He said the Rs 50,000 costs imposed in the present
case was beyond statutory limit-- that is Rs 3,000.

The judge said the court cannot impose the costs
against the provision of the law that is section 35-A CPC.

"I respectfully disagree with the views taken by my
two brother judges. There is no provision under the law
through which a penalty of Rs 50,000 can be imposed for moving
the application to relegate the matter for mediation under
section 89 CPC," he said.

Justice Sharma said that according to section 35-A CPC
the imposition of penalty cannot exceed Rs 3,000.