The high-voltage hearing on Tuesday had moments of sheer drama — from the court commanding a lawyer, who spoke out of turn, to “go stand in the corner” to three senior advocates attempting to walk out in protest. In the middle of the hearing, before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, lawyers for the appellants of the minority community — Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Dhawan and Dushyant Dave — expressed their difference of opinion by deciding to leave the courtroom.
The prelude to this protest from the trio came after the Bench, also comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, rejected their pleas to defer the hearing.
The three senior lawyers had passionately argued the political climate in the country was not conducive for hearing the dispute and would invite repercussions. The lawyers complained that they are not being given ample time to prepare for arguing such a complex issue. Mr. Sibal suggested hearing the appeals after July 2019.
The trio got up shortly after the Bench refused the contentions and accepted an offer by senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, for Ram Lalla, the deity, to make the opening statements. When asked by Chief Justice Misra, Mr. Sibal alleged the court would send a “wrong message” by starting to hear the appeal now solely on the basis of an oral mentioning plea by a third party – BJP leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy.
Later, while dictating the order, Chief Justice Misra orally referred to the “utter shock and surprise” of the court when the three senior counsel sought permission to leave the court.
But Mr. Sibal objected, saying that the court should not “queer the pitch”. He said they had only asked for a fair hearing.
Finally, the Bench recorded in the order that the trio sought permission to leave. The court denied them the permission, which they accepted.
Cong. distances itself
Congress distances itself from Kapil Sibal's stance in court. Party's communication chief Randeep Surjewala said the party doesn't interfere with lawyers on what or whose brief one should take. The party has nothing to do with it.
The party's stand is clear that the Supreme Court of India should decide the matter at the earliest and it should be acceptable to all.