An effort for deferring the judgement in the 60-year-old title suit in the Ram Janmabhoomi -Babri Masjid dispute was Friday rebuffed by the Allahabad High Court, which will now pronounce its verdict on Sept 24.
Delivering its judgement on a petition filed by one Ramesh Chandra Tripathi, the three-judge special bench of the court opined that there was no merit in the application.
Tripathi – who is a low profile retired government employee- had filed an application for making another attempt to reach a solution to the dispute through reconciliation and deferment of the verdict.
The special bench, comprising Justice SU Khan, Justice DV Sharma and Justice Sudhir Agarwal asked the parties in the case whether they were interested in working out an out-of-court amicable settlement and none of them showed interest – both the Hindu Mahasabha and Sunni Wakf Board want the verdict to be delivered.
Following this, the court rejected the petition for deferring the judgement – the option of reaching an out of court settlement by the two sides’ still remains open.
The bench also imposed a heavy fine on Tripathi which would be announced later though Justice Agarwal proposed a fine of Rs. five lakh.
On September 24, the High Court will be addressing three issues. One, whether there was a temple at the disputed site, prior to 1538. Two, whether the suit filed by the Babri committee in 1961 seeking possession of the site is barred by limitation. And third, whether Muslims perfected their title through adverse possession.
Importantly, major political parties are saying that they will respect the court’s decision, but it is still unclear as to how the matter will play up after September 24.
The union government has made a strong appeal for communal harmony and peace ahead of the judgement.
Apprehensive that the verdict in the case could trigger tension, the government said if one community was aggrieved, further legal recourse would be open to it.