Even as the Indian capital steeled itself for the fortnight-long Commonwealth Games and New Delhi's poor were rudely swept under the red carpet, communal tension rose dramatically with the Supreme Court of India on Tuesday giving the nod to the Allahabad High Court to declare its verdict on ownership rights regarding the disputed Babri Masjid land in Ayodhya. The Interior Ministry issued a security advisory for all states to go on high alert ahead of the verdict on Thursday, with fears the high-profile Commonwealth Games could magnify any instances of violence. Security has been beefed up across Delhi, with commandos placed outside key locations, including luxury hotels.The apex court dismissed a petition for deferment of the verdict by the Allahabad High Court saying the time had come for a historic legal pronouncement. The verdict has been delayed year after year, and the apex court felt "any further prolonging of this uncertainty was not desirable". The Supreme Court said the judiciary is certainly not on the side of those who prefer a settlement of the contentious Ayodhya issue by putting it on the judicial back burner.It will be a clear verdict on whether the land at Ayodhya in Faizabad district belong to Hindus or Muslims, said the lawyer for the Sunni Central Board of Waqf Zafaryab Jilani, who is contesting on behalf of the Muslim litigants. The Hindu Mahasabha, along with the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh, the ideological arm of Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, also welcomed the Supreme Court's decision.Attorney-General G E Vahanvati himself was of the view that uncertainty should not be allowed to continue. Counsels pleading for deferment of the verdict had filed the petition urging the court to allow the government to adopt an innovative approach for an out-of-court settlement. But this has not been sanctioned. The fear now is that the dispute is an emotional issue and any decision for or against the majority Hindu or minority Muslim could backfire and create communal tensions. But the Supreme Court has stated any adverse consequences arising out of the verdict was not the judiciary's responsibility but fell squarely on the government. Former attorney-general and veteran jurist Soli Sorabjee, who appeared for one of the parties, agreed with this assertion, saying: "Judicial functions cannot be made hostage to consequences. "Be that as it may, the date for the decision could not come at a more critical time. India is the cynosure of the sporting world, has yet to finish handling the heat and dust of controversy arising from a shoddy job done in the run up to the Games and the last thing it needs is communal disharmony.The Babri Masjid case is one of the biggest security challenges for India this year, along with a Maoist insurgency and a Kashmiri separatist rebellion, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said.Political analysts say it is unlikely there will be a repeat of the mass riots and killings of 1992 but there could be sporadic religious violence, Reuters reported."The timing is a problem. I suspect that'll be on the judges' minds and of politicians also," said Ajai Sahni, head of the Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management.