NEW DELHI: The Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case will be heard five days a week, the Supreme Court said on Friday.
The clarification came after senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan raised objections before the start of the hearings on Friday, saying counsels need time to prepare their case in order to adequately assist the apex court.
“Let me remind you that this is a first appeal and it cannot be rushed," said Dhavan, who is representing a Muslim body. “I will have to leave the brief if this court goes on in this manner. This is not right…the lawyer cannot be asked only to read conclusions."
“I am sure no other judge on this bench except for Dr Chandrachud would have read the entire judgement of the high court," added a seemingly annoyed Dhavan.
The bench, ignoring the intervention, told Dhavan that it has made a note of his submissions and will let him know the decision at an appropriate time.
The court continued with the submissions of senior advocate K. Parasaran appearing on behalf Ram Lalla, or the infant Ram, who is attempting to prove that the birthplace of the deity is a “juristic person" and should therefore be made a party to the case.
Parasaran stated that the entire area is Ram Janmabhoomi and it is a “juristic person", so it cannot be divided and allotted to other parties.
At the end of the day’s arguments, the bench adjourned the case for Tuesday and will continue to hear Parasaran’s submissions.
Before the bench arose to leave, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi told Dhavan that the day-to-day hearings will continue, inclusive of days reserved for miscellaneous matters.
He added that Dhavan could take a mid-week break when he wants to, but the Constitution bench will not take a break.
Generally, the Constitution bench does not sit on Mondays and Fridays, which are reserved for fresh and miscellaneous matters.
Fourteen appeals have so far been filed before the Supreme Court against the 2010 Allahabad high court judgement, which said that the disputed 22.7 acres should be equally divided among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
On 6 December 1992, Babri Masjid, a 16th century mosque, was demolished by Hindu groups who wanted to build a Ram temple at the disputed site, believed to be the birthplace of Ram.