Wednesday, September 29, 2010

60-year Ayodhya wait ends tomorrow

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed two petitions to defer the Ayodhya title suit ruling and cleared the decks for the Lucknow bench of the Allhahabd high court to pronounce judgment in the 60-year-old case.

Soon after this, it was announced that the three-member high court bench would deliver its verdict at 3.30 pm on Thursday, September 30.

The September 30 date fixed by the Lucknow bench is of some importance as one of the judges of the three-member bench, Justice D.V. Sharma, is due to retire on October 1. The other two judges on the bench are Justices S.U. Khan and Sudhir Agarwal.

Preferring not to comment on the merits of the case and offering no major observation during the hearing of arguments by a battery of senior advocates for the contesting parties, a Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justices Aftab Alam and K.S. Radhakrishnan, in a very brief order, rejected two special leave petitions by the former bureaucrat, Mr Ramesh Chandra Tripathi, to allow the contestants a last chance for a negotiated settlement.

“Having considered the detailed arguments advanced in these cases, we are of the view that the special leave petitions deserve to be dismissed. Accordingly, we hereby pass the following order: the SLPs ... stand dismissed,” said the chief justice of India, reading the order from his diary as the court reassembled at 2 pm.

The only notable observation came from Justice Alam, who said: “We are running out of time because you woke up very late. It (the case) has been going on for the past 50 years.”

Justice Alam further asked: “Why were you quiet all these years. Why is this petition only before the judgment is to be pronounced?”


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