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'Ayodhya judge's dissent won't affect verdict on Sept 24'

By Vicky Nanjappa
September 20, 2010 14:41 IST

The dissenting opinion of one of the judges of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on the Ayodhya verdict may not make much of a difference where the date of judgement in the Ayodhya title suit on September 24.

Legal experts say that it is the majority view which will prevail, but it could be an additional point for argument before the Supreme Court.

Prashanth Chandra, advocate for Ramesh Chandra Tripathi, the person who filed the intervening application seeking an out-of-court-settlement in the Ayodhya title suit says that the last hope now is the apex court, and this is not an issue just between the two litigating parties, but a national issue.

Chandra, who is preparing his plea to be argued before the Supreme Court, told's Vicky Nanjappa how he is planning on arguing this case and why is it so important that this matter is settled out of court.

What Prashanth Chandra said:

This latest development in which a judge has dissented will not have any bearing on the date of pronouncement of the verdict, since the majority is what prevails.

Two judges have already conveyed that the verdict will be pronounced as per schedule and this means that the verdict will come out on September 24 unless the Supreme Court steps in.

I was hoping to move the Supreme Court on Tuesday, but I may be able to make a mention about the case on Wednesday. I have not yet received a certified copy of the order and am expecting it by 4 pm on Monday, following which I will proceed with my appeal.

The points will be more or less the same before the Supreme Court and the prayer remains unchanged and it would seek to settle the matter out of court.

I understand that the parties who are litigating before the high court have said that in the past 60 years they have not been able to settle the dispute and it will not be any different today.

However, my argument is that this is not an issue between the two parties alone. They are bound to speak like this since they must be having sufficient grounds to substantiate their case.

What we must realise is that this is not a matter between two parties alone. This is in national interest and the two dispassionate parties must sit together and sort out the matter.

Before the Supreme Court I will seek a directive to this effect and also seek a direction that two dispassionate parties who have no direct interest in this case sit and sort out the matter.

We need national leaders or a parliamentary legislation to sort out this matter and I hope my plea is considered and the direction given to settle the matter out of court.

My plea is that this verdict should not be taken lightly. Last time around when the riots broke out, at least 7,000 people were killed, 2000 injured and property worth crores were destroyed. I am sure that this time it will not be any different.

The governments -- both Union and state -- have in their possession Intelligence Bureau reports which speaks of violence. Why else are they so apprehensive and what is the logic behind asking for 600 companies of central forces?

These are the points that will come up for the argument and this matter should not be looked as one concerning just two parties. Instead it should be seen in the light and interest of the entire nation.

Vicky Nanjappa