After 40 days of hearing, the Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved the judgement in the 70-year-old politically vexing Ayodhya title dispute
New Delhi, Oct 16: After 40 days of hearing, the Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved the judgement in the 70-year-old politically vexing Ayodhya title dispute.
A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi began the daily hearing into the matter on August 6 after the court-appointed mediation panel, headed by a former apex court judge, failed to amicably resolve the matter.
At 4 p.m. on Wednesday as senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the Muslim side was arguing, the Chief Justice called off the hearing and declared the court has reserved the judgement on the matter.
"Hearing is over, and the judgement is reserved," said Chief Justice Gogoi, who is expected to deliver the judgement before his retirement on November 17.
The bench also comprises Justice S.A. Bobde, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, and Justice S.A. Nazeer.
Here are the main points of Wednesday's proceedings:
1) Tempers rose inside the Supreme Court chambers when Rajeev Dhavan, a lawyer representing one of the Muslim parties, tore into shreds a document submitted by the Hindu side, right in front of the five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
This prompted a stern reaction from the Chief Justice, who observed that parties involved in the matter were creating an atmosphere not conducive for the hearing.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing All India Hindu Mahasabha, had submitted a pictorial, identifying the spot of Lord Ram's birthplace at the disputed site along with a book and few documents.
But Dhavan objected to these submissions, saying that this document was not on record.
Seeking the five-judge bench's permission to tear the document in court, Dhavan said: "May, I have your permission to tear this document....this is Supreme Court and not a joke", and then he tore the document to pieces.
Dhavan also objected as Singh attempted to submit a book in connection with the case. Using a high-pitch he objected to the submission and opposed it vehemently.
The court recorded Dhavan's objections.
Singh insisted that directions, as per the pictorial map, from the Sita Rasoi and Sita Koop lead to the spot, which is the birthplace place of Lord Ram.
Chief Justice Gogoi observed that all this was creating an atmosphere not conducive for the hearing, especially highlighting the conduct of the Muslim side.
2) Earlier during the day, senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan -- representing Hindu side -- contended that there could be some evidence that the Muslim side offered Friday prayers at the disputed site between 1857 and 1934.
"But there is absolutely no evidence that they offered any prayer after that. On the other hand, Hindus continued to worship.... Muslims did not have exclusive possession on the disputed site," said Vaidyanathan.
He urged the court that Hindus do not have a site which could be treated as birthplace of Lord Ram.
3) Dhavan said that the Muslim parties seek restoration of Babri Masjid as it stood on December 5, 1992.
"The demolished building belonged to us. The right to reconstruct it also belongs to us. Nobody else has the right," he submitted.
He even used unfavorable language against a lawyer for the Hindu side, who had argued on the Islamic law, and referred that the Babri Masjid was not an Islamic structure.
"The Sultanate began only in 1206. Islam is an extremely attractive faith for people living in a caste-ridden society," Dhavan submitted before the bench.
4) The Supreme Court has reserved the order and has made it clear that the decision will come, in this case, within 23 days. The apex court said that the rest of the submissions can be made in written form within the next 3 days.
5) The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.The top court had recently said that it would wrap up hearing in the case on October 17, a day earlier than it was scheduled to. The judgment is likely to be passed on November 4-5.
News24 Bureau with Agency Inputs
Photo: Google Image