he exchange took place during a discussion over Ram Chabutara (Image: PTI File)
The Supreme Court on Thursday continued hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case. There were some heated moments during the hearing between Justice Ashok Bhushan, part of the constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices DY Chandrachud, SA Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer, and Senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan who is representing the Muslim parties in this case.
The exchange took place during a discussion over whether the close proximity of Ram Chabutra to the iron railings was a proof of the belief that the mosque’s central dome was Ram Janmasthan.
Referring to a suggestion by Justice DY Chandrachud regarding the possibility that Hindus had been praying to the railing in lieu of the central dome, advocate Dhavan submitted that there was no evidence of worship at the grilled wall.
During the discussion, Justice Ashok Bhushan referred to statement by witness Ram Surat Tiwary who had said he had been visiting the temple since 1935 as a 12 year-old and had seen idols in the inner courtyard till 1949. Justice Bhushan pointed out that there was evidence of idols in the statement.
However, Dhavan said this evidence cannot be believed since the statement has some discrepancies and the witness was not able to remember anything nor he could have.
Justice Bhushan replied that any decision on credibillity of evidence should should be left to the bench. To this Dhavan said he while Justice Bhushan was questioning him, he noticed a slight aggression in the judge's tone.
Ram Lalla's representative CS Vaidyanathan and senior advocate Ranjit Kumar objected to Dhavan's statement.
Justice Chandrachud said that bench was asking such questions to clarify the issue and understand the arguments clearly.