Ayodhya Case: Supreme Court reserves verdict, here's what happened on the last day of hearing
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The verdict in the politically sensitive Ayodhya Land Case will be pronounced by the Supreme Court on Saturday. A notice regarding the pronouncement of judgement by a Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, was uploaded on the official website of the Supreme Court late Friday evening.
The apex court on October 16 had reserved its judgment in the politically crucial Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute at Ayodhya, thereby bringing down curtains on the judicial battle over the 2.77-acre land that went on for 70 years.
Concluding the arguments in the matter, the court granted three days to contesting parties to file written notes on 'moulding of relief' or narrowing down the issues on which the court is required to adjudicate.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi-led five-judge Constitution bench had began the day-to-day hearing in the vexatious dispute on August 6 after the mediation proceedings failed to find an amicable solution. The bench had earlier set October 18 as the deadline to conclude the hearing in the matter, but preponed it to October 17.
On the 40th and final day of hearing on Wednesday, CJI Gogoi said that the hearing in the case will come to an end today itself. The Supreme Court is expected to deliver its verdict in the matter by November 17 -- the day the CJI demits office.
The day began with the CJI-led five-judge Constitution Bench, also comprising justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, making it clear to parties in the case that the hearing will be wrapped up by the end of the day.
On the 40th and final day of daily hearings, the top court allocated initial 45 minutes to Hindu parties followed by one hour to Muslim side, and then four slots of 45 minute each to assorted parties involved in the matter.
The bench also rejected a plea of a party seeking to intervene in the ongoing hearing and said no such interventions will be allowed now at this stage of proceedings.
The 6-hour-long court hearing, which concluded an hour earlier as set by the CJI, witnessed high-voltage drama when senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing the Muslim parties, tore up a pictorial map showing the exact birthplace of Lord Ram.
Dhavan objected to the map referred by senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing the All India Hindu Mahasabha, and asked the bench as to what he should do with it, to which the bench said that he can shred it into pieces.
After the pages were torn, interruptions from both sides and the commotion angered the judges. "Decorum has been spoiled, decorum is not maintained. If proceedings continue in this manner, we would just get up and walk out," said the Chief Justice.
"The incident is going viral. But fact is that I wanted to throw the pages away and the CJI said I may tear them. And I tore them so I'd say it was with the permission of Court," Dhavan said later.
He also reiterated the demand to restore the mosque at the disputed site. "The right to reconstruct the building belongs to us. The bricks are still there...The place still belongs to Waqf," Dhavan was quoted by News 18 as saying.
Citing the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, Dhavan said: "What was destroyed was of Muslims, the right of its reconstruction and restoration can only be with the Muslims."
Senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, appearing for the Hindu party, told the court that Sunni Waqf Board and other Muslim litigants have failed to prove that Mughal emperor Babur constructed the mosque at the disputed Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya.
He said that it was the case of the Muslim party that the mosque in question was built by the state (Babur) on the land belonging to the state, but it has not been proved by them.
A brief recap of the case
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the Supreme Court against the Allahabad High Court’s 2010 judgment, delivered in four civil suits, which had partitioned the 2.77-acre disputed land equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
Initially, five lawsuits were filed in the lower court. The first one was filed by Gopal Singh Visharad, a devotee of 'Ram Lalla', in 1950 to seek enforcement of the right to worship of Hindus at the disputed site.
In the same year, the Paramahansa Ramachandra Das had also filed the lawsuit for continuation of worship and keeping the idols under the central dome of the now-demolished disputed structure. The plea was later withdrawn.
Later, the Nirmohi Akahara also moved the trial court in 1959 seeking management and 'shebaiti' (devotee) rights over the 2.77 acre disputed land.
Then came the lawsuit of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Wakf Board which moved the court in 1961, claiming title right over the disputed property.
The deity, 'Ram Lalla Virajman' through next friend and former Allahabad High Court judge Deoki Nandan Agrawal, and the Janambhoomi (the birthplace) moved the lawsuit in 1989, seeking title right over the entire disputed property on the key ground that the land itself has the character of the deity and of a 'Juristic entity'.
Later, all the lawsuits were transferred to the Allahabad High Court for adjudication following the demolition of the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri masjid structure on December 6, 1992, sparking communal riots in the country.
Posted By: Abhinav Gupta