Verdict in Indian Hindu-Muslim dispute over land deferred

11:11, September 24, 2010      

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The Indian Supreme Court Thursday stayed the verdict in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid ( mosque) title suit case in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, stating that the deferment is in public interest.

The centuries-long dispute over the land ownership between Hindus and Muslims triggered widespread communal riots across Indian in 1992, when the mosque was demolished by Hindu extremists.

Police have been put on alert in many sensitive spots of the country pending the verdict. And a local court in Uttar Pradesh has banned rallies and distribution of sweets by local people once a verdict is made.

The apex court stayed the verdict while hearing a special leave petition filed by Ram Chandra Tripathi and posted the matter for further hearing on Sept. 28.

"The matter has been kept for further hearing on Sept. 28. The Supreme Court has ordered that Allahabad High Court bench will not deliver the order tomorrow afternoon. We hope that on Supreme Court's direction people of different communities come to a mutual agreement on the issue," senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the petitioner, said.

The two-judge bench comprising Justices R.V. Raveendran and H.L. Gokhale stayed the verdict for a week following conflicting views over the issue of entertaining the petition challenging Uttar Pradesh's Allahabad High Court order.

The court also issued notices to contesting parties on the petition seeking stay on the Allahabad High Court order which refused to defer the verdict in the suit.

Justice Raveendran was of the view that Tripathi's petition should be dismissed while Justice Gokhale, on the other hand, was of the opinion that a notice should be issued for exploring the option of settlement.

The verdict in title suit dispute was due to be pronounced on Sept. 24 by a three-judge Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court comprising of Justice S.U. Khan, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice D.V. Sharma.

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court was to deliver the judgement on the title suit to decide who owned the 2.77 acres of disputed land on which 16th century Babri mosque stood.

The 16th century Babri mosque was demolished by a raging mob on Dec. 6, 1992.

Source: Xinhua


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