The verdict on the Ayodhya title suit has been deferred by a week by the Supreme Court. It was scheduled to be delivered tomorrow by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. The Supreme Court will hear the case again on Tuesday, September 28.
The verdict on the Ayodhya title suit will handle one of India's most divisive and sensitive issues - what came first at Ayodhya - the Babri Masjid or a temple for Lord Ram.
A plea submitted to the Supreme Court asked that the verdict be postponed because it could lead to communal violence. The plea was filed by retired bureaucrat Ramesh Chand Tripathi earlier this week.
A three-judge Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had rejected his petition for deferring the verdict and to allow mediation to find a solution to the 60-year-old Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit dispute.
There was a difference of opinion between the two Supreme Court judges who heard Tripathi's petition.
One of the High Court judges hearing the case in Lucknow retires at the end of this month. If the verdict is not delivered before then, the entire trial may have to be conducted again. The Supreme Court took this into account before fixing its next date of hearing for deferment to September 28.
There are massive security arrangements for the verdict. The government has appealed repeatedly to the public to keep the peace, stressing that this verdict is just one step in a variety of legal options available to those involved with the case.
Tripathi has appealed for the verdict to be postponed partly because of the Commonwealth Games. He says that given the security preparations for the Games, UP may not get the cover it needs to maintain law and order after the verdict.