Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted its interim stay order on the contentious Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit case verdict which is to be delivered by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. The High Court will deliver the verdict on September 30 at 3:30 PM.
A three-judge special bench comprising of Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia, Justice Aftab Alam and Justice KS Radhakrishnan announced that the three-judge High Court bench could go ahead with the pronouncement of judgement while dismissing the special leave petition of Ramesh Chandra Tripathi that had appealed for deferment of the verdict so that an out-of-court settlement could be tried.
All the three judges concurred that the stay order must be lifted and dismissed Tripathi’s petition.
“Having considered the detail argument advanced in these cases we are of the view that the SLP deserves to be dismissed,” said CJI SH Kapadia while lifting the stay order.
The three-judge special bench of the High Court comprising of Justice SU Khan, Justice Sudhir Agrawal and Justice Dharam Veer Sharma is scheduled to deliver the verdict. Justice Dharam Veer Sharma will be retiring on October 1.
The petitioners are expecting verdict within the next two days before Justice Sharma retires.
Senior lawyer Ravi Shankar Prasad, appearing for Mahant Raghuvar Das, argued that when three prime ministers have failed in reconciliation there was no point in deferment.
Former attorney general Soli Sorabjee, who appeared for Sunni Wakf Board, called it a correct decision.
“The Supreme Court judgment is correct in dismissing the SLP. I am disappointment, there should have been reasons given. Everyone was heard for a length of time. Short reasons should have been given but the conclusion is absolutely correct,” said Sorabjee.
Sunni Wakf Board, too, claimed that it was satisfied with the apex court’s order.
However, Tripathi’s lawyer Prashant Chandra claimed that the uncertainly in the dispute would continue despite the apex court clearing the way for the High Court to pronounce its verdict.
“The uncertainty will continue. Whoever loses will appeal in the Supreme Court and the delay will continue,” said Chandra.
Senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, who also appeared for Tripathi, expressed his disappointment on the apex court’s order.
“Supreme Court has merely dismissed the matter without any reasons. The least that I expected was that the SC would give some reasons after hearing all parties for two and half hours. Now they haven’t given any reason. I obviously cannot make any comment any further except to say that this issue is now over and judgement would be delivered by the High Court,” said Rohatgi.
“According to me, the moment the judgment is delivered the appeals would be filed in the Supreme Court. Supreme Court is bound to examine the matter and in that sense the uncertainty will continue for a couple of years,” he said.
He dismissed the suggestion that Tripathi’s petition was frivolous.”No! It was not so. The SC heard me for more than an hour and half. Had SC felt it was frivolous, the plea would have been thrown out in five minutes. So he was not a frivolous petitioner,” he said.
Rohatgi also expressed his displeasure with the Centre’s stand.
“I am sad at the stand taken by the Central Government. It should have taken a more proactive stand,” he added.
The verdict in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit dispute would decide whether the 2.77 acres of disputed land on which Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished on December 6, 1992, belongs to Sunni Central Wakf Board or to the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.
Meanwhile, Karnataka government on Tuesday declared a two-day holiday for schools and colleges on September 30 and October 1 in view of the Allahabad court’s scheduled pronouncement of verdict on Ayodhya title suit dispute on Thursday.