Lets reserve opinion on Ayodhya judgement, says Chidambaram

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 23 2010, 06:54am hrs
Ahead of the September 24 court judgement in the Ayodhya land title suits, Union home minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday talked about the possibility of more than one judgement being delivered by the Special Bench and said that it would be inappropriate to reach any hasty conclusion that one side has won or that the other side has lost.

It is possible that there will be one or more judgements delivered by the three-judge Special Bench. The judgements would have to be read carefully, and the findings of the Honble judges on each of the issues in the four suits would have to be analysed meticulously, before any conclusions may be drawn. The point that I wish to make is that it would be inappropriate to reach any hasty conclusion that one side has won or that the other side has lost, the home minister said.

Chidambaram also said that it would be reasonable to assume that one or both sides would immediately apply to the Special Bench of the high court for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court on the issues that either side may think have been decided against it. In fact, Article 134A of the Constitution of India allows a party aggrieved to make an oral application in this regard immediately after the passing of the judgement, he said.

Appealing to all the parties to the suits, the general public and the media to reserve their opinions on the judgement or judgements of the Special Bench and not make any hasty pronouncements, Chidambaram said, While the parties to the suits study the judgement or judgements and ponder over the next steps, I would appeal to the general public to receive the verdict of the court as the culmination of the legal process that deserves our respect and acceptance.

The home minister also said that the government was pleased to note that many organisations, including organisations connected with the parties to the suits, have appealed to the people to maintain peace and calm in the wake of the judgment. from making an appeal for peace, it is the duty of all organisations concerned to actively work to maintain the peace. In particular, all organisations must urge their members not to spread rumours or make provocative statements, he said.

Chidambaram also said the states and the district administrations should immediately activate the peace committees consisting of the residents of a ward or panchayat or mohalla and urge such committees to maintain the utmost vigil and defuse any situationin case of trouble.

He added that the state governments had been advised to take adequate measures to maintain law and order, especially in sensitive areas. The home minister said that the Centre had also taken a number of measures to assist the states. No one needs to have any apprehension, and if every one realises his/her obligations to society, we can, working together, ensure that there is peace, order and harmony, he said.

Saying that he was issuing this statement in order to place before the parties to the suits as well as the general public the circumstances and the context in which the judgement must be received and understood, Chidambaram said, There are four title suits. There are a number of issues in each suit. It is pertinent to note that issues were framed by the Trial Court, recast by the High Court, additional issues were framed by the high court and, in one case, issues were recast after certain orders of the Supreme Court.

The issues involve complicated questions of fact and law. Among the questions of fact that are being canvassed are questions relating to possession, dispossession, worship etc. Among the questions of law that are being canvassed are questions relating to maintainability of the suits, adverse possession, prescription, estoppel, limitation, res judicata, the interpretation of UP Muslim Wakfs Act, 1936 etc, he said.