» News » As govt battles Ayodhya fallout, Sec 89 of CPC is a lifeline

As govt battles Ayodhya fallout, Sec 89 of CPC is a lifeline

By Sheela Bhatt
Last updated on: September 28, 2010 11:41 IST
According to a senior law officer, "if the honourable judges of the Supreme Court want to defer the Ayodhya judgment," it is possible to invoke Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code.

The said section deals with the settlement of disputes outside the court, and says: 'Where it appears to the court that there exist elements of a settlement which may be acceptable to the parties, the court shall formulate the terms of settlement and give them to the parties for their observations and after receiving the observation of the parties, the court may reformulate the terms of a possible settlement and refer the same for (a) arbitration; (b) conciliation (c) judicial settlement including settlement through the Lok Adalat; or (d) mediation.'

The government at the Centre is watching the situation with anxiety, the United States President Barack Obama's India visit in November and the assembly election in Bihar being uppermost on its mind. The Congress party feels that managing the security situation will be difficult if, in spite of promises made by the involved parties in the Ayodhya verdict, things go wrong.

All eyes are on Attorney General Goolam Essaji Vahanvati who has been asked by the Supreme Court to give his opinion on whether the plea for deferment by one of the litigants in the Ayodhya case should be accepted or not.

All other petitioners have already said that they don't want a deferment.

Most experts believe the Congress party will lose both ways with the Ayodhya judgment, regardless of how it goes. While the political loss may be less if the judgment favours the Sunni Waqf Board, there are many imponderables surrounding it that make the political fallout difficult to assess. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's political stance is dubbed as the "x factor" in the matter.

Naturally, the unpredictability of the fallout of the much awaited Ayodhya judgment is giving jitters to the central government.

So, Section 89 of the CrPC could come in handy for Home Minister P Chidambaram who is the main strategist in the issue.
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi