Ayodhya case: advocate objects to five days a week hearing

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for a Muslim party, said he will “not be able to assist” the court if the hearing is “rushed through”.

Updated - August 09, 2019 06:32 pm IST

Published - August 09, 2019 12:25 pm IST - New Delhi

Supreme Court in New Delhi

Supreme Court in New Delhi

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for a Muslim party, on Friday objected in the Supreme Court five-days-a-week hearing of the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case in Ayodhya, saying he will “not be able to assist” the court if the hearing is “rushed through”.

The submission was made by him when the Supreme Court commenced hearing on the fourth day in the case.

Breaking with the tradition, the apex court decided to hear the sensitive case on Friday which is reserved for fresh cases only.

As the counsel for deity Ram Lalla Virajmaan started advancing their submissions before a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Mr. 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, Mr. Dhavan said.

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 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 persons who can hold property, defend and intervene in lawsuits.

The Bench, however, had asked Mr. Parasaran 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 December 6, 1992.

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