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No out-of-court solution or delaying Ayodhya verdict: Court

Friday, September 17, 2010 08:18:10 PM, IANS

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Lucknow: A week before it is to rule on the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid row, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Friday turned down a plea for delaying the long-pending verdict and directing an out-of-court amicable settlement of the dispute.

The court also slapped costs of Rs. 2 lakhs on the applicant, though sources later said that the figure was drastically reduced at the conclusion of the nearly hour-long hearing.

Rejecting the application moved earlier this week by low-profile retired bureaucrat Ramesh Chandra Tripathi, the three-judge special bench of Justice S.U. Khan, Justice Sudhir Agrawal and Justice Dharam Veer Sharma upheld its decision to deliver the judgment Sep 24.

"Postponement of the judgment could lead to more problems than the judgment itself," said Justice Khan, the seniormost judge on the special bench.

He further observed: "We have made several endeavours in the past to persuade the parties to find an amicable solution through conciliation, but they never agreed to do so. Therefore, as a court of law, we are required to pass a judgment."

Supporting Justice Khan's view, Justice Agrawal pointed out that efforts for conciliation and an amicable out-of-court settlement were made by at least three prime ministers, two central laws and also a presidential reference to the Supreme Court. "However, all those efforts remained in vain," he noted.

The court also castigated Tripathi for waking up at the eleventh hour, well after it had reserved its verdict and resolved to pronounce it Sep 24. "Where were you all these years while the case was being heard," asked Justice Khan.

However, he added: "Even today if majority of the parties agree to get the matter resolved through concilliation, we will gladly welcome the move".

Even when the judge went to the extent of throwing open the offer to parties present in the court, there was only one voice that rose in favour of an out-of-court settlement.

This was on behalf of 'Nirmohi Akhara', whose counsel Ranjeet Lal Verma had sought to make a last-minute attempt to support Tripathi's plea for an amicable out-of-court settlement. The Akhara is one of the key parties in the 60-year-old legal battle which has as many as 40 parties - 32 seeking the title to the disputed site as Lord Rama's birthplace and eight in support of the Babri Mosque.

Meanwhile, Justice Sharma, who had late Monday evening entertained Tripathi's application despite the absence of the other two judges on the bench, remained silent throughout the hearing.

Asserting that the mosque was built after the descecration of an ancient Hindu temple on the spot, violent Hindu mobs pulled the Babri Masjid down on Dec 6, 1992, triggering one of India's worst post-partition communal clashes that left over 2,000 dead. 

 

 

 

 

 

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