On what is seen as the last day of the politically-sensitive Ayodhya case, the Supreme Court witnessed high drama when Rajeev Dhavan, the Muslim counsel tore a map of a book during the hearing of the case. Taking an exception of the loud arguments between Dhavan and others, the Chief Justice of India said that, ‘If these are the kind of arguments going on, then, we can just get up and walk out.’ He also added that ‘these shouting matches’ were wasting time. The conundrum began while during the hearing, Vikas Singh, appearing on behalf of the Hindu Mahasabha, sought to place a book in the court.
'Ayodhya Revisited', authored by former IPS Kishore Kunal has detailed description on pre-existence of the Ram temple. Dhavan raised a strong objection to this. He later started tearing the maps and other pages of the book. It was at this point that the Chief Justice of India made a searing remark.
The day-to-day hearings in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case began in the Supreme Court on August 7 with the Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu religious denomination, claiming Muslims had not prayed at the disputed site in Ayodhya since 1934. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, and comprising justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, started hearing the matter. The Allahabad High Court, in its judgment of 2010 on four civil lawsuits, had partitioned the 2.77-acre disputed land equally among Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. Fourteen appeals have been filed in the Supreme Court against the verdict.
On Tuesday, the top court indicated that it would like to conclude all arguments by Wednesday instead of Thursday. The court also saw sharp exchanges between the lawyers representing Hindu and Muslim parties during the proceedings. The Constitution bench was hearing arguments of former Attorney General and senior advocate K Parasaran, appearing for a Hindu party. He was responding to the lawsuit filed by the Sunni Wakf Board and others in 1961 to seek claim over the disputed site at Ayodhya.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who represents Muslim parties, got up and intervened when Parasaran was submitting that a "historical wrong" was committed by Mughal emperor Babur after his conquest of India more than 433 years ago by constructing a mosque at the birthplace of Lord Ram and it needed to be corrected. "This is entirely a new arguments. All this could have been argued by them in other lawsuits as well. I am entitled to give reply in rejoinder arguments," Dhavan told the bench, also comprising justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer.
Parasaran, along with another senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, objected that there were lot of interruptions from the other side and the court should set the things right as this is the case of public right. The bench then said it will allow Dhavan to make rejoinder submissions.