Friday, September 24, 2010

Divided SC has Ayodhya verdict put off by 5 days

As the government had its fingers crossed on the sensitive Ayodhya issue, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the pronouncement of the Allahabad high court judgment on the title suit by Hindus and Muslims for the ownership of the 2.77 acres of land on which the demolished Babri Masjid stood.

The interim stay was granted by a division bench comprising Justices R.V. Raveendran and H.L. Gokhale till September 28 despite sharp differences between them on entertaining a petition by Ramesh Chandra Tripathi, one of the parties to the suit, for deferment of the verdict.

While Justice Raveendra was not inclined to entertain the petition, saying “if in 50 years you have not been able to settle the dispute despite hundreds of opportunities, there is no reason for allowing the issue to remain as a festering wound,” but Justice Gokhale said though there might be little chance of the negotiations to succeed, “yet if there is even one per cent chance, why not it be given a try?”

“If it is postponed for some time, what is the prejudice? There may not be change in the stand of the parties, but what is the harm to give a chance. You will be the first people to blame us if there is (any) consequences (of the verdict),” Justice Gokhale told senior advocates Anoop George Chaudhary and Ravi Shankar Prasad, opposing the deferment.


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