Ayodhya case in Supreme Court: Muslim petitioner calls daily hearings 'torture', cites lack of time to prepare case; CJI rejects objection

  • Dhavan told the apex court that speculations were rife that the bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi will hear the Ayodhya case non-stop

  • Usually,Mondays and Fridays are reserved for miscellaneous matters — fresh cases and those on which notices have been issued

  • Opposing to this anticipated five-day hearing in the case, Dhavan said that the hearing 'cannot go on like this'

The Supreme Court on the fourth day of hearing in the Ayodhya case, rejected the Muslim party's objection to daily hearing of the matter. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for a Muslim party, opposed hearing on all five days, saying that it won't be possible for him to continue with the case if the hearing is "rushed through".

Dhavan told the apex court that speculations were rife that the bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi will hear the Ayodhya case non-stop and the day-to-day hearing will also take place on Mondays and Fridays. Usually, these two days are reserved for miscellaneous matters (fresh cases and those on which notices have been issued).

Opposing to this anticipated five-day hearing in the case, Dhavan said that the hearing "cannot go on like this" and a move like this would make it difficult for the counsel to prepare the case and assist the top court on the same.

 Ayodhya case in Supreme Court: Muslim petitioner calls daily hearings torture, cites lack of time to prepare case; CJI rejects objection

Representational image. Reuters

Breaking with the tradition, the apex court decided to hear the sensitive case on Friday, a day allotted for fresh cases only, along with Monday.

As the counsel for deity Ram Lalla Virajmaan started advancing his submissions before a five-judge Constitution Bench, Dhavan got up and interjected the proceedings.

"It is not possible to assist the court if it is heard on all days of the week. This is the first appeal and the hearing cannot be rushed in this manner and I am put to torture," he told the bench, also comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer.

He said the apex court was hearing first appeals after the Allahabad High Court delivered the verdict in the case and the hearing as such cannot be rushed through.

"Being the first appeal, documentary evidence has to be studied. Many documents are in Urdu and Sanskrit, which have to be translated," Dhavan said. The senior lawyer alleged that "perhaps, except Justice Chandrachud, other judges might not have read the Allahabad High Court judgment."

He said that if the court has taken a decision to hear the case on all five days of the week then he might have to leave the case. The Supreme Court took note of Dhavan's submission, but later ruled that it would continue to hear the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute on a day-to-day basis.

The court, however, told Dhavan that it may grant him a mid-week break for preparing arguments. The bench then heard the submissions of senior advocate K Parasaran on behalf of deity Ram Lalla Virajmaan.

The apex court had on Thursday asked the counsel for the deity, which itself has been made a party to the case, as to how the Janmasthanam (birthplace of deity) can be regarded as a "juristic person" having stakes as a litigant in the case.

The apex court had said on the third day of the hearing that so far as Hindu deities were concerned, they have been legally treated as juristic person which can hold properties and institute, defend and intervene in lawsuits.

The bench, however, had asked Parasaran as to how Janamsthanam can file the case in the land dispute as a party.

The law suit filed by the deity in the Ayodhya case has also made the birth place of Lord Ram as co-petitioner and has sought claim over the entire 2.77 acre of disputed land at Ayodhya where the structure was razed on 6 December, 1992.

With inputs from PTI

Also read: Ayodhya case in Supreme Court: Nirmohi Akhara draws CJI's anger as it fails to produce evidence, claims property documents were 'robbed' in 1982

Also read: Ayodhya case in Supreme Court: Nirmohi Akhara says no Muslim entered Ram temple since 1934; CJI says prove temple's existence

Updated Date: Aug 09, 2019 16:43:56 IST