In a dramatic denouement, the Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions against the September 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement in connection with the Ramjanabhoomi-Babri Masjid land (Title) dispute case.
A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, and also comprising Justices Sharad Arvind Bobde, Ashok Bhushan, D Y Chandrachud and S Abdul Nazeer, heard the case from August 6, this year, on a day-to-day basis, (five days a week).
The step came after the mediation process, conducted by a high-powered panel three-member panel, headed by Justice (retd) FMI Kalifullah, apparently failed to make headway in the sensitive case. Sources, meanwhile, said the Ayodhya mediation panel on Wednesday filed its final report in the apex court.
Reports said both sides– Hindu and Muslim– have agreed for a settlement of the dispute. As per the terms of the agreement, the Ram temple should be built on the disputed land, but not without giving space for the mosque, sources said.
The report says that Religious places act 1991 should come into force which stipulates to maintain 1947 status for all shrines.
Earlier, the CJI said the hearing in the case will conclude by 1700 hrs.
The Chief Justice said the bench is hearing pleadings for the past 39 days and no more time beyond today will be granted to parties to conclude arguments. “The hearing will get over by today 1730 hrs,” the CJI said. During the hearing, there was no mention of Sunni Wakf Board withdrawing its petition from the apex court.
Tempers ran high amid the fast-paced, dramatic developments in the courtroom. Senior counsel Rajiv Dhavan, appearing for the Muslim side, allegedly tore a historic map of the Ram Janmabhoomi site in front of the Constitution bench.
He lost his cool when Advocate Vikas Kumar Singh representing Hindu Mahasabha, presented a book titled ‘Ayodhya revisited’, authored by Kunal Kishore, before the Constitution bench.
Mr Sushil Kumar Jain, lawyer appearing for Nirmohi Akhara, also submitted that Muslims should also prove their possession as to how they got it back. Building, counsel observed, was managed by the Mahant of Nirmohi Akhara.
Dr Dhavan objected to the interpretation on translation by the Hindus on grant.
”We have a translator-Urdu expert from Awadh. “Oudh/Awadh has no difference but phonetics are different. Whatever enquiry could have taken place had already taken place,” Dr Dhavan said. ”The mosque and waqf was recognised by the government. Unless they show a contrary use of site. We want to know which Mahasabha are they representing. There should be candour. We can not have four Mahasabhas with separate arguments,” he said.
“The onus lies on Hindus also,” Dr Dhavan averred. ”Mosque was dedicated to the Almighty and graveyard was also used. Muslims were peacefully praying when miscreants desecrated the mosque,” he said. Dr Dhavan also asserted that the right to reconstruct, pray and title belongs to Muslims. ”We can not go back beyond 1994 and we claim even Chabutra as part of the Masjid. The Mosque starts at the right hand side of the wall at the graveyard.”