The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court will pronounce its verdict on four title suits on the ownership of the Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi site at 3.30 pm on Thursday.
The decision came after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking deferment of the High Court verdict to enable rival parties to reach a settlement out of court.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia unanimously rejected the petition of a retired bureaucrat seeking deferment of the High Court verdict.
“Having considered in detail the arguments of the parties, we are of the view that the SLPs (special leave petitions) have to be dismissed,” the chief justice said, assigning no reason for dismissal.
Questioning the timing of retired bureaucrat Ramesh Chandra Tripathi petition, a member of the bench, Justice Aftab Alam said, “The question is why you were quiet all these days. You had to strike a chord when the matter was in the High Court. You are running against time because you woke up late -- that is after 50 years.”
Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati made it clear that the government welcomed a settlement but wanted the uncertainty to end. He said it was not possible for the government to keep the law and order machinery at the disputed site in suspended animation for long.
Hindu and Muslim organisations hailed the apex court’s decision to dismiss the petition.
“It’s a welcome decision. We always wanted a decision. We are happy that the Supreme Court has dismissed the petition,” said Hari Shankar Jain, counsel for the Hindu Mahasabha, which is a party to the dispute.
Zafaryab Jilani, counsel for the Central Sunni Waqf Board expressed the same sentiment. “We are satisfied with the Supreme Court order. It is a welcome move,” he said.
Spokesman of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board Qasim Rasool Ilyas said, “The Supreme Court decision is a welcome move as we are eagerly waiting for the verdict.”
The petitioner’s counsel Mukul Rohatgi told mediapersons later that the court should have given a reason for dismissing Tripathi’s petition.
But Vahanvati felt the court was justified in not providing any reason.