NEW DELHI: With just two days left for the verdict on Ayodhya title suit dispute, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court Wednesday seeking deferment of the judgement and to allow mediation.
The application moved by retired bureaucrat Mr Ramesh Chand Tripathi has been listed for early hearing before a bench of Mr Justice Altmas Kabir and Mr Justice A K Patanik. This was mentioned before the Bench by counsel Mr Sunil Jain.
The bench decided to take up the petition at 2 p.m. after Mr Jain said the matter required urgent consideration.
Mr Tripathi approached the Apex court five days after a three-judge Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court rejected his petition for deferring the verdict and to allow mediation to find a solution to the 60-year-old Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit dispute. The keenly awaited verdict is due to be pronounced on September 24.
The High Court had also imposed “exemplary costs” of Rs 50,000 terming Mr Tripathi’s effort for an out-of-court settlement of the dispute as a “mischievous attempt”.
The application, which sought some time to allow mediation, also challenged the costs of Rs 50,000 imposed on him.
In his petition before the High Court, Mr Tripathi had claimed that verdict might disturb communal harmony and lead to violence in the country.
Mr Tripathi had moved the three-judge bench for deferment of the verdict in view of reports in media that the pronouncement might disturb communal harmony and lead to violence.
He had 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.
The court had, however, rejected the application terming it as “mischievous” and “an attempt to obstruct the verdict”.
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.
Mr Justice Dharam Veer Sharma while not concurring with the view of the other two judges — Mr Justice S U Khan and Mr Justice Sudhir Agarwal — also said in his dissenting judgement he wasn’t consulted when the three-judge bench gave the order while dismissing the plea for mediation.