The Supreme Court on Friday made clear that it would continue with the day-to-day hearing of the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid land dispute case.
The apex court reverted to the objections raised by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing Muslim parties including M Siddiq and All India Sunni Waqf Board, that it will not be possible for him to take part in the proceedings 5-days a week.
“We will continue day-to-day hearing as ordered earlier,” a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said at the fag end of the fourth day of proceedings in the case.
The bench, however, assured Dhavan that it may consider granting mid-week breaks to the senior lawyer if he needs them for preparing his case.
The bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, then fixed the Ayodhya case hearing on next Tuesday. The court is off next Monday on account of Eid.
Dhavan in the forenoon objected to the five-days-a-week hearing of the case, saying he will “not be able to assist” the court if the hearing is “rushed through”.
Breaking with the tradition, the Supreme Court had decided to hear the case on Friday — the day which, along with Monday, has been kept for hearing only fresh cases.
As per the apex court’s procedures, on Mondays and Fridays, the registry lists before the benches fresh and miscellaneous cases after notice cases.
As the counsel for deity ‘Ram Lalla Virajmaan’ started advancing its submissions before the bench, 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 the torture,” he told the bench.
He said the apex 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 the 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.
“We have taken note of your submissions. We will revert back to you soon,” CJI Gogoi had said and proceeded with the hearing.