The 38th day of hearing in the Ayodhya case ended at the Supreme Court on Monday in the presence of a Constitution Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer.
The day-to-day hearings in this case had commenced on August 6, with arguments being made on behalf of the Nirmohi Akhara. In the following hearings, submissions were made on behalf of the other Hindu parties; the deity Ram Lalla and the Ram Janmabhoomi Punaruddhar Samiti, and, thereafter, for the Muslim parties. This was followed by rejoinder arguments for the Hindu parties and then Muslim parties were allowed to file their reply.
Below are the updates from day 38 (October 14) hearing in the Ayodhya case:
- The counsel for Muslim parties Rajeev Dhavan started the argument by objecting to the presence of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy sitting on lawyers' seats. The CJI said that he will look into the matter.
- Dhavan said that custom is not a mind game and majority of the judgments cited by Hindu parties have no factual foundation. He added that Hindus did not make any title claim till 1989 and there is no finding of the destruction of temple by ASI.
- Dhavan said that Muslims always have the possession of the land and the claim to Hindus comes much later. Dhavan stressed that Hindus claim to title was denied in 1986.
- Justice Chandrachud interjected Dhavan and asked him about the possession of outer courtyard by Hindus. "Documents post 1858 shows Ram Chabutra was setup, possession had been with them", he Justice Chandrachud.
- Dhavan responded saying that Muslims were constantly entering by eastern gate and Hindus never had possession and they were allowed to pray by Muslims. Justice SA Bobde then asked Dhavan if Hindus had the right to pray, then will this not dilute his claim of exclusive possession.
- Dhavan then said that he has notice that all the questions by SC judges have been directed at Muslim parties and no questions have been put to the Hindus.
- Hindu parties lawyer CS Vaidyanathan said that such questions by Dhavan are unwarranted. Dhavan, however, said that he is dutybound to answer the questions.
- Dhavan said that the Hindu parties have picked up something from Quran and make an argument and Islamic law and practice is much more than that.
- Dhavan claimed that the title of Muslim parties is beyond dispute and they have never adversely possessed it. He claimed that the practices in North India are different from South India.
- Dhavan argued that Islamic law has evolved over 15 centuries and it is not right to pick and choose from Quran and Hadith to say "you are acting against Quran". He asked that SC that what law are we going to apply to judge Mughal emperor Babur?
- Dhavan urged the SC to not go into the exercise of rulership and legitimacy of rulership, stressing that the apex court must not rewrite history otherwise it will open a Pandora's box.
- Dhavan concluded his argument by saying that under Islamic law as the SC has laid down, is that even if there is no dedication but there is use, it is good enough to be recognised as a mosque.