Ayodhya Case Live Updates: SC reserves Judgment after 40 days: Closed Door meeting likely Today :- In the politically-sensitive Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute, daily hearings has been ended today by the Supreme Court. Today is the 40th day of daily hearings in the Ayodhya dispute case. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi also asked the parties to file written submissions on the moulding of relief in three days.
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On Monday, the Supreme Court had resumed daily hearings after a week-long Dussehra break. It heard from Muslim respondents who said that there was no claim for the title of the land in Ayodhya by Hindus until 1989. They asked for the restoration of the Babri Masjid as it stood before it was demolished in December 1992.
The five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India began day-to-day proceedings on August 6 after mediation proceedings failed to find an amicable solution to the dispute.
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the top court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties – the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
Many Hindus believe the land was the birthplace of Lord Ram and a mosque was built there on the ruins of an ancient temple. The 16th century Babri mosque at the spot was razed in December 1992 by right-wing activists. The destruction of the mosque sparked riots in the country.
Supreme Court Finishes Hearing Arguments by All Parties
At 10:50 AM, CJI Ranjan Gogoi said that today’s session till 5 pm will mark the end of all arguments. Meanwhile, written submissions for all parties are being filed by lawyers before the top court. He said, “We will rise by 5 pm. Enough is enough.”
While there were reports that Sunni Waqf board is seeking withdrawal or settlement, no such mention has been made in the courtroom. CS Vaidyanathan, appearing for the Hindu parities, has started presenting his arguments in the case.
Mohammad Iqbal Ansari, one of the main litigants in the Babri Masjid dispute case, said all arguments will end today and that the court has decided to take its final decision. “Everyone has to accept the court’s decision. Our aim is that there should be development in the country, there should be peace.”
At 11:00 AM, CS Vaidyanathan representing the Hindu petitioners said that till 1855, Hindus and Mohammedans worshipped on the premises. An iron railing was then set up by the British government.
“Their understanding of the documents is that the Ram Chabutra was accepted. Now, the Muslim side is trying to distinctly guide between inner and outer courtyard. They are trying to divide the small area.”
Justice DY Chandrachud, however, asked senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan, “We understand your point pre-1855. What is the situation after the railing? One area we need to clarify is that post the railing, we have had incidents of the Nihangs trying to enter and plant a flag, but is there evidence that there was access to the inside room after the railing was put up?”
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CS Vaidyanathan says in the disputed site till 1949, there was no idol inside and there were weekly prayers. Quoting the High Court’s decision, Vaidyanathan cut the Sunni board’s claim that there was no evidence that the owner of the land was the then ruler and a mosque was built under his supervision. Nor is there evidence that the mosque was built on vacant land.
Vaidyanathan also said on behalf of Ram Lalla Virajman that there was no such evidence from the Muslim side that he could prove that he had the right to the land. “On behalf of the Muslim side, it was claimed that Namaz was being held there from 22-23 December. But till 1934, Friday prayers were held. Ram Lalla Virajman claimed regular prayers at the disputed site till 1934 only,” he said.
In response to the ownership claim filed by the Waqf board asked by the Justice DY Chandrachud, CS Vaidyanathan said they (Muslims) say the existence of ruins under the mosque is irrelevant to the title.
Meanwhile, the mediation panel has submitted a new report in the Supreme Court. Details not disclosed.
At 11:53 AM, senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta, representing the Nirvani Akhara, said, “It is not our dispute over the title that Hindus should get Ram Lalla, we will be serving. Nirmohi Akhara is also our claim for service. We have not filed the suit, we are the defendants. We are now the only service claimant. Even when we were appointed receivers there, our arena used to organize and maintain service, procession, and celebration.”
“Nirvani Akhara has claimed “shebaitship” of the Ram mandir. There is evidence to show that baba Abhiramdas was the pujari of the deity,” he said.
However, Justice DY Chandrachud said that no suit has been filed claiming “shebaitship”. “It’s an admitted position that the idols were placed inside by Baba Abhiramdas. We say it was done in 1934 but definitely since 1949 he is accepted as shebait of the temple. The receiver had accepted baba Abhiramdas as shebait and pujari. Sarpanch of the Nirmohi Akhara in his statement has declared that Abhiramdas was the priest of the Ram Mandir. They also declared that Abhiramdas was not a member of the Nirmohi Akhara.”
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At 12:05 PM, Senior advocate Vikas Singh begins arguments on behalf of the Hindu Mahasabha and made a request to submit evidence in the form of a new book on the Ayodhya issue by Former IPS Kishore Kunal.
Advocate Rajeev Dhawan objected but Singh said that the court allowed him to bring this book on record.
Dhawan, who is representing the Muslim parties in the case, went on to say that he will not answer questions raised by Vikas Singh.
On showing the map to the court, Dhawan countered Singh and tore the map into pieces. Dhawan also indicated that Singh was making a joke of the entire session.
At 12:21 PM, CJI Gogoi has had enough of the aggressive arguments. He said, “As far as we are concerned the arguments are already over. We are only giving time if anyone else wants to say anything. We can just get up and go.” Gogoi also asks lawyers representing both parties to maintain courtroom decorum.
Advocate Vikas Singh made a few more arguments and then made way for advocate Sushil Jain who is representing Nirmohi Akara in the case. Sushil Jain said that the Muslim side failed to show proof that Babur constructed the mosque at the site of Lord Ram’s birthplace. He said, “Burden of proof is on them. Look at the documentation shown. Documentation relating to a cash grant of Rs 302 granted as “maafi” to Syed Baqi. Documents relating to village Sehnwa. It’s not related to village Rampur. The building is in Rampur. Documentation is in extremely torn condition, unreadable. The third document relates to the contractor by PWD. According to the High court judgment, these documents have nothing to do with possession or rights over this land.”
Sushil Jain went on to say that the revenue records show that Nirmohi Akhara was in possession of the area and it is shown as “Babari Masjid Temple”. “In 1855, Hindus ousted the Muslims from the building. We won the fight. They have to show that they got the possession back. They have shown no evidence. How can they say we only have elementary rights?” Sushil Jain questioned.
“There are no accounts shown of donations, or maintenance or possession. The only documentation is for the grant,” he added.
Advocate Sushil Jain then said that the suit filed in 1961 shows a map which is incorrect. “They (Muslims) did not have access to the site. They filed the suit without even verifying the actual site. They claim that the land outside the mosque was a graveyard with graves of soldiers who lost their lives in the battle between Babur and previous ruler.”
“It does not show any of the other structures. The building was always used as a temple. My case is we were always using the building like a temple. Earlier building unearthed by ASI seems to be built by reusing the previous structure to construct a temple. There is no evidence that the mosque was constructed by Babur,” Jain said.
Sushil Jain, representing Nirmohi Akhara, opposes the arguments raised by Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas. “Why have they argued that Babur demolished the temple and built a mosque? We have said we never stopped using the building like a temple. Since time immemorial it has been used as a temple. We never gave over the rights to the Muslims,” he said.
At 1:15 PM, after a chain of arguments present by the Hindu parties, the lawyer for Shia Waqf board started arguments and said the question of ownership should be between Shia or Sunni Waqf boards and added that the latter has “no locus” to address the court.
Meanwhile, the hearing was stopped for lunch at 1:20 PM and resumed at 2:20 PM.
CJI said that they will only hear HS Jain for Mahasabha, PN Mishra for Jirnodhar Samiti and Rajiv Dhawan for the Muslim side.
At 2:44 PM, Counsel for Muslim parties, Rajeev Dhawan, who earlier tore down a fresh piece of evidence produced by the Hindu Mahasabha, said, “It’s going viral that I tore up a map in court. That was done on court orders. I said I want to throw it away but the CJI said you can tear it up.”
CJI Ranjan Gogoi replies, “We agree with Mr. Dhawan. We said that you’re welcome to tear it up if you want.”
Rakesh Dhawan said, “We have said we are entitled to restoration of the building as it existed on December 5, 1992. This plea for restoration comes within our plea for “any other relief. We have the right to restore the building. The building was destroyed, but the stones are still there.”
On Justice DY Chandrachud’s observation that the maps seem to indicate that the Ram chabutara was inside the inner courtyard, Rakesh Dhawan said that the map is not to scale on which the decision can be taken. He said, “There is a graveyard on both sides. The map is not a scale.”
At 3:59 PM, Ayodhya’s arguments concluded an hour before the set deadline. The Supreme Court has asked all the parties to file written notes on the moulding of relief in the Ayodhya land dispute case.
Hindu Mahasabha’s lawyer Varun Sinha told, “Supreme Court has reserved the order and has made it clear that the decision will come, in this case, within 23 days.”
The Supreme Court will review the submissions and other documents including British records already put before it. The judgement is likely to be pronounced by November 15 since CJI Ranjan Gogoi will retire on November 17. November 15 is the last working day of CJI Ranjan Gogoi.