Supreme Court of India (File Photo)
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan's plea objecting to day-to-day hearing in the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case and made it clear that it will continue five-days a week hearing as ordered earlier. Dhavan, who is appearing for M Siddiq and the All India Sunni Waqf Board in the infamous Ayodhya land dispute case, moved the petition, saying he will "not be able to assist" if the hearing is "rushed through".
Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, however, assured Dhavan that the top court would consider granting him mid-week break to prepare for arguments. The submission was made by Dhavan on Friday morning when the Supreme Court commenced hearing on the fourth day in the case.
Breaking with the tradition, the top court decided to hear the sensitive case on Friday, a day which along with Monday is reserved for fresh cases only. As per the Supreme Court's procedures, on Mondays and Fridays, the registry lists fresh and miscellaneous cases following notice cases before the benches.
As the counsel for deity 'Ram Lalla Virajmaan' started advancing its submissions before a five-judge Constitution bench headed by CJI 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 SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer.
The advocate said the top 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.
The Supreme Court on Thursday started hearing the submissions of senior advocate K Parasaran on behalf of deity Ram Lalla Virajmaan. It also 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.
On the third day of the hearing the top court said 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. 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.