As the daily hearing in Supreme Court is going on for Ayodhya case, Muslim groups are objecting to it. A Muslim party on Friday opposed in the Supreme Court five-day a week hearing of the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case in Ayodhya. The reason given by the group is that it was not possible to assist the court if the case is rushed through.
As bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi Friday commenced hearing on the fourth consecutive day, Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the Muslim party, raised objection to the five days hearing of the matter.
"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," Dhavan told the bench, also comprising justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.
The bench has however not taken its decision till now and replied to Dhavan, saying it has noted his submissions and will revert as soon as possible. After the mediation failed in the case, the Bench said its order, that hearing will be on day-to-day basis. Breaking with the tradition, the apex court decided to hear the sensitive case on Friday which is kept fresh cases only, along with Monday. As per the apex court's procedures, on Mondays and Fridays, the registry lists before the benches fresh and miscellaneous cases after notice cases.
As the counsel for deity 'Ram Lalla Virajmaan' started advancing its submissions before a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, 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 S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A 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 a first appeal, documentary evidences have 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 judgment (Allahabad High Court's)".
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. "We have taken note of your submissions. We will revert back to you soon," CJI Gogoi said and proceeded with the hearing. The bench has now started hearing 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' (birth place 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.
Earlier on July 31, the Ayodhya mediation panel was allowed to continue talks to reach consensus between Hindu and Muslim sides over the dispute of construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. After discussions, the panel has submitted the report and based on this report, the SC-bench is set to take up the matter on Friday.
Headed by Justice FM Kalifulla, senior advocate Sriram Panchu and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, if the mediation panel reaches consent on the Ayodhya dispute, then the mediator's decision may be passed by the top court as the court decree. However, if the members fail to reach a consensus on the matter, the court will be hearing the case continuously after the panel submits its final report. The hearings will continue to take place until unless a verdict is passed.
The Supreme Court had on July 18 asked the mediation committee on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute to continue the process and submit a report on the progress made till July 31. A Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer observed that it will take a call on August 2 on whether a hearing is required in the case. The apex court had made the mediation panel for 8-week and Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad was set as the location where the mediation would be held. The eight-week deadline for the mediation talks completed on May 3.
On December 6, 1992, the Babri Masjid, constructed at the disputed site in the 16th century by Shia Muslim Mir Baqi, was demolished. The central government on January 29 this year moved the apex court seeking its nod to return the 67-acre undisputed acquired land around the disputed site to original owners.
The 0.313 acre plot, on which the disputed structure stood before it was demolished by 'kar sevaks' on December 6, 1992, was within the 2.77-acre disputed premises., the plea said. The government had then acquired 67.703 acres, including the 2.77-acre plot, through a legislation in 1993. The Ram Janambhoomi Nyas (RJN) is the owner of as much as 42 acres of the acquired non-disputed land.
The Centre's plea said that the RJN (a trust to promote construction of Ram Temple) had also sought return of excess land acquired to original owners. The Centre claimed that only 0.313 acre of land was disputed on which the structure stood before it was demolished by 'kar sevaks' on December 6, 1992. A week later, another petition was filed challenging the constitutional validity of 1993 Central law on land acquisition in Ayodhya near the disputed site, contending that Parliament has no legislative competence to acquire land belonging to the state. Seven individuals, including two Lucknow-based lawyers claiming to be devotees of Ram Lalla, said state legislature has exclusive power to make provisions on management of religious affairs inside its territory. The plea said the Acquisition of Certain Areas of Ayodhya Act, 1993 Act infringes right to religion of Hindus guaranteed and protected by Article 25 of the Constitution of India.