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    Default Ayodhya verdict on Sept. 30 as Supreme Court clears way

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    The Supreme Court on Tuesday paved the way for the Allahabad High Court to pronounce its verdict on four title suits relating to the Ayodhya dispute pending for about 60 years.

    A Bench comprising Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justices Aftab Alam and K.S. Radhakrishnan dismissed an application of Ramesh Chandra Tripathi seeking deferment of the pronouncement of the verdict. The Bench thereby lifted its interim stay order passed on September 23 restraining the High Court from pronouncing the verdict. The verdict was to have been delivered on September 24.

    Within an hour of the dismissal of the application, the High Court announced that the verdict would be pronounced at 3.30 p.m. on September 30, a day ahead of the retirement of Justice D.V. Sharma, one of the three judges on the Bench that heard the title suits.

    In a brief order, the Bench said: “Having considered the detailed arguments advanced in these cases, we are of the view that the special leave petitions deserve to be dismissed.”

    While Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Mr. Tripathi, argued that there was nothing wrong in exploring an opportunity for settlement through mediation or negotiation, counsel for the Sunni Central Board of Wakfs, Uttar Pradesh; Baba Dharamdas; and Mohd. Hashim expressed their unwillingness to go in for negotiations on the ground that it would be a futile exercise as all earlier attempts did not succeed. They pleaded for vacating the stay and allowing the High Court to pronounce the verdict.
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