The Supreme Court clarified on Friday that it will continue day-to-day hearings in the Ayodhya land dispute case as ordered earlier, PTI reported. The top court also assured senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan, who is representing a Muslim party in the hearing, that it would consider giving him a break in the middle of the week to prepare arguments.
The fourth day of the arguments in the Ayodhya dispute began despite objection from one of the lawyers to having the hearings on all five working days of the week. Dhavan said it was not possible to assist the court if the matter is heard all days.
As per tradition, the Supreme Court hears only fresh cases on Mondays and Fridays.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi is having daily hearings of the long-standing dispute since Tuesday after a mediation effort by a court-appointed panel failed to achieve a result last month. The bench also comprises Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer.
Dhavan said: “This is the first appeal and the hearing cannot be rushed in this manner and I am put to torture.”
The bench told Dhavan it had noted his submissions and would respond to it soon. Senior advocate K Parasaran, lawyer for the deity Ram Lalla Virajman resumed his arguments after this.
On the third day of arguments on Thursday, Justice DY Chandrachud had said that the Janmasthan, the supposed birthplace of Ram, is worshipped because of the belief that Ram was born there and asked Parasaran if source of worship can be the benchmark for deciding whether something is a juristic person, Bar and Bench reported.
Parasaran had said the presence of an idol is not the only test for determination of a legal person. He said that rivers are also worshipped in the country. According to the Rig Veda, the sun is not an idol but is a deity, he said, and added that sun is a juristic person.
Parasaran had also told the court that the Allahabad High Court had ordered partition of the disputed properties, though no party had sought such a partition. He said that the rights of the entire area of 2.77 acres have to be decided.
On Wednesday, the counsel for Ram Lalla had told the bench that the faith of the devotees was evidence that the disputed site in Ayodhya was the birthplace of the deity. However, the court asked them if they have any revenue records and oral evidence to establish its possession.
“How can we prove after so many centuries that Lord Ram took birth at the place?” Parasaran had asked the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had also asked the Nirmohi Akhara, a party to the dispute, whether it had revenue records and oral evidence to prove possession of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya.
The cross-appeals filed by both Hindu and Muslim litigants contest each other’s claims of ownership over the entire 2.77 acre disputed land. The Babri Masjid stood there before it was demolished in 1992 by Hindutva activists.
On Tuesday, the first day of the hearing, the Nirmohi Akhara had sought possession and management of the entire 2.77-acre disputed land, claiming that no Muslim was allowed to enter the structure since 1934. The Akhara’s counsel told the bench that its lawsuit was for belongings, possession and management rights of the land, and said they were a registered body.