The last day of arguments in the Ayodhya land dispute case witnessed drama when a lawyer tore a map showing Ram Janamsthan.
Rajeev Dhavan, who is representing the Muslim parties, was handed over the map by a lawyer representing the Hindu Mahasabha. When Dhavan tore the map, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said the senior advocate could shred the papers further. Dhavan did so following which the CJI remarked that judges would be forced to walk out.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh had submitted a pictorial, identifying the spot of Lord Ram’s birthplace at the disputed site, along with a few documents. Dhavan objected to these and said the document was not on record.
Earlier in the day, the CJI said the arguments will end by 5 pm on Wednesday and refused to accept an intervention application. “By 5 pm, this matter is going to be over. Enough is enough,” he said.
Wednesday is the 40th day of daily hearing in the decades-old land dispute case. A five-judge constitution bench, headed by CJI Gogoi, is hearing the case and is expected to pronounce a verdict by November 17.
The Ayodhya land dispute is the second-longest oral hearing in history by the Supreme Court’s constitution bench. The Kesavananda Bharati case in 1972 was the longest when 13 judges continued hearing for 68 days to arrive at a ruling on the Parliament’s powers.
The bench of the top court is hearing appeals filed against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be divided equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.