The five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court will be sitting “in chambers” on Thursday, October 16. This comes after they have concluded the marathon hearing in the politically sensitive Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case. The bench heard for 40 days the arguments of the Hindu and the Muslim parties. It granted three days to contesting parties to file written notes on 'moulding of relief'. This means they have to narrow down and write on the issues which the court is required to adjudicate.
The Apex court issued a notice saying that Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and four other judges will sit in chambers, where parties involved are not allowed. The notice said, “Take notice that on Thursday the October 17, the Chief Justice, Justices SA Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer will sit in chambers.”
On the 40th day of the day-to-day hearing the Ayodhya mediation panel which had failed, filed a settlement report before the Supreme Court. The mediation panel consisted of Justice FMI Kalifulla, Senior advocate Sriram Panchu, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The report submitted by the panel stated that the Sunni Waqf board surrendered its claim over the disputed land in Ayodhya. The decision came in light of an agreement reached between a few parties during the mediation proceedings, at the final leg of the hearing on the 2.77 acres disputed land. This report could significantly affect the verdict that is to come from the court.
The court proceedings saw high drama as the senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan, who is representing the Muslim group in the case tore a book inside the courtroom. The book in question ‘Ayodhya Revisited’ was submitted to the bench by senior advocate Vikas Singh to supplement his arguments. Dhavan objected to the submission and tore the pages of the book. The bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi condemning the incident stated that if the behaviour continues, they would halt the proceedings and walk out.