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Out-of-court settlement plea in Ayodhya case goes to SC

By Vicky Nanjappa
Last updated on: September 22, 2010 11:40 IST
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The Supreme Court will take up on Wednesday afternoon the hearing on the application seeking deferment of the Allahabad high court verdict in the Ayodhya site dispute.

The application has been listed for early hearing before a bench of Justices Altmas Kabir and A K Patanik. This was mentioned before the Bench by counsel Sunil Jain.

The bench decided to take it up at 2 pm after he said that the matter required urgent consideration.

The application has been filed by Ramesh Chand Tripathi.

A three-judge bench of the Allahabad high court had on September 17 rejected Tripathi's petition and imposed "exemplary costs" of Rs 50,000, terming his effort for an out-of-court settlement of the dispute as a "mischievous attempt". Last week, while two judges on the three-member bench refused to defer the verdict and direct an out-of-court settlement, one of the judges granted the verdict in favour of the applicant.

Counsel for the applicatn, Prashanth Chandra, who received certified copies of the order on Tuesday, said the grounds for the plea before the Supreme Court were more or less the same as was argued before the high court but added that the dissenting verdict by one of the judges could help his case.

The application, which sought some time to allow mediation, also challenged the cost of Rs 50,000 imposed on Tripathi.

A member of the three-judge bench of the high court, however, had not concurred with the view of the other two judges and gave a dissenting opinion that an amicable settlement could have been explored in the matter.

Tripathi had moved the bench for deferment of the verdict in view of reports in media that the pronouncement might disturb communal harmony and lead to violence.

He had referred to an earlier order of the court on July 27 that parties concerned are at liberty to approach the officer on special duty for formation of the bench if there was any possibility of disposal of the dispute or arrival at an understanding through consensus.

The court had, however, rejected the application terming it as "mischievous" and "an attempt to obstruct the verdict".

With additional inputs from PTI

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Vicky Nanjappa