NEW DELHI: After 40 days of hearing, the Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved the judgement in the 70-year-old politically vexing Ayodhya title dispute.
The last day of hearing wrapped up with what appeared to be high drama where senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing the Muslim parties, in fact, shocked the court by tearing a pictorial map identifying the birthplace of Lord Ram (Ram Janamsthan).
The reference to the pictorial map was submitted by a senior counsel Vikas Singh representing the All India Hindu Mahasabha.
The tearing act that went viral was indeed done with the permission of the Court.
“The incident is going viral. But fact is that I wanted to throw the pages away and the CJI said I may tear them. And I tore them so I’d say it was with the permission of Court”, said Dhawan, as per Hindustan Times report.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi confirmed and also clarified in the Court that he indeed said that Dhavan may tear the pages.
A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi began the daily hearing into the matter on August 6 after the court-appointed mediation panel, headed by a former apex court judge, failed to amicably resolve the matter.
The packed courtroom saw extremely heated exchanges between the Hindu and Muslim side.
The bench also comprises Justice S.A. Bobde, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, and Justice S.A. Nazeer.
In the first half of the day, Hindu parties argued and urged the court to correct the historical wrong where a mosque has been built on a site considered holy by Hindus.
In turn, Dhavan said that the Muslim parties seek restoration of Babri Masjid as it stood on December 5, 1992. “The demolished building belonged to us. The right to reconstruct it also belongs to us. Nobody else has the right,” he submitted.
He even used unfavorable language against a lawyer for the Hindu side, who had argued on the Islamic law, and referred that the Babri Masjid was not an Islamic structure.
“The Sultanate began only in 1206. Islam is an extremely attractive faith for people living in a caste-ridden society,” Dhavan submitted before the bench.
The court now has asked counsel from both sides to submit their written submissions on the moulding of relief in the matter.
“Hearing is over, and the judgement is reserved,” said Chief Justice Gogoi, who is expected to deliver the judgement before his retirement on November 17.