No delay in Ayodhya verdict: Allahabad HC

An effort to defer the judgement in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute was rebuffed by the HC.

Lucknow: An effort to defer the judgement in the 60-year-old title suit in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute was on Friday rebuffed by the Allahabad High Court, which will now pronounce its verdict on September 24.

A three-judge Special Bench of the Court rejected a petition (filed by one Ramesh Chandra Tripathi) seeking deferment of the judgement for working out an out-of-court amicable settlement of the issue saying there was no merit in the application.

The Special Bench, comprising Justice S U Khan , Justice D V Sharma and Justice Sudhir Agarwal, decided to imposed a heavy fine which would be announced later though Justice Agarwal proposed a fine of Rs. 5 lakh.

The judges asked the parties whether they were interested in going for any discussion for a compromise and none of them showed interest. Following this, the court rejected the petition for deferment of the judgement.

Mr Tripathi, a defendent in the case, had filed the application for making another attempt to reach a solution to the dispute through reconciliation and deferment of the verdict.

Objections were filed on Thursday by Sunni Central Board of Wakf and the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha before the Court against any deferment of the verdict and with Friday’s order they have become infructous.

Zafaryab Jilani, Counsel for Sunni Wakf Board, told reporters outside the court that Mr. Tripathi’s application was rejected with costs.

He said the court pointed out to the counsel pleading for deferment, a 1954 judgement of the Supreme Court that such a petition could not be entertained at this stage and asked him if he was aware of it. The counsel replied that he was aware of it.

When the Bench asked the parties to the dispute their opinion on the application that the matter could be settled through mediation and discussion, all of them replied that they had no such hope.

Mr. Jilani said Mr. Tripathi could have been “set up” by someone with mala fide intention for delaying the judgement.

Asked whether Friday’s order could be contested, he said any order could be challenged but it carried the risk of the fine going up.

Harish Jain, lawyer for the Hindu Mahasabha, said every party submitted before the court that they were not prepared for further delay in the judgement in the case.

Another lawyer, M M Pandey, said in any compromise among parties there would be some mutual negotiations between them but the present application for deferment was not backed even by one.

He said the court wanted to know whether the parties wanted a compromise and everybody (parties) rejected it.

Meanwhile, Nirmohi Akhara, one of the main parties to the Ayodhya title dispute, on Friday filed an application seeking time till September 27 to arrive at a compromise.

The application filed by lawyer R L Verma on behalf of Mahant Raja Ramchandra has sought 10 days to explore an out of court settlement on the issue.

The application has also said that a retired judge of the Supreme Court or High Court should be appointed as a mediator in the title suit dispute in either Lucknow or in Ayodhya.

Asked if a compromise was possible, the Mahant said that “in the interest of the nation, nothing is impossible“.

Gopal Singh Visharad, Nirmohi Akhara, the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board and Ram Lalla Virajman are the main parties to the title dispute.

Citing apprehension of breach of peace and the upcoming Commonwealth Games, two separate applications seeking directions for deferring the verdict were also moved before the Allahabad High Court on September 13.