SLP seeks deferment of verdict

The Ayodhya dispute can be amicably resolved through mediation or reconciliation, and till then the Allahabad High Court should be directed to defer the pronouncement of its verdict in the title suits scheduled for September 24, petitioner Ramesh Chandra Tripathi submitted in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

In his special leave petition seeking to quash the High Court order declining to entertain his plea, Mr. Tripathi said that because of the ramifications and repercussions of the judgment, the High Court should defer its pronouncement, especially “when there is a likelihood of the dispute being resolved through mediation.”

He said that in all likelihood, going by the past as a barometer of the pressure building up between the various communities, the much-awaited judgment may become a catalyst for trouble, which would be difficult to contain at this juncture. Furthermore, the matter was suited essentially for resolution through negotiations, a process that would not leave any rancour in the end.

He apprehended that the pronouncement of the judgment at this juncture, when most of northern States were in the grip of heavy rains, would further worsen the situation and revive the tension. Even political leaders were apprehensive of a bad law and order situation. “Most parts of Western Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana are under floods, and the hill States of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are experiencing heavy rains and …landslips and cloudburst, and a lot of State police… and paramilitary forces have been deployed to control the situation.”

Mr. Tripathi said that in the absence of any consultation among the three judges of the High Court, especially when one of them “has categorically held that there was no consultation at the time of the impugned judgment was passed, there can be no judgment in the eye of law, which is scheduled for pronouncement on September 24.”

The High Court had erred in dismissing the application praying for deferment of the pronouncement of the judgment till the conclusion of the Commonwealth Games or till a conducive atmosphere prevailed in the country, he said.

The petition said no prejudice would be caused by deferring the judgment “when the subject matter of the suits and the dispute between the parties inter se relates essentially to two communities, both claiming the site as their… place of worship and have expressed their intention to sort out the matter amicably.”

The SLP sought an interim stay on the September 17 order.

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