Ayodhya: Hindus have no right other than that of prescription, Muslim parties tell SC
New Delhi, Oct 14: The protracted hearing in the politically sensitive Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute at Ayodhya entered into the crucial final leg on Monday at the Supreme Court.
Senior Counsel Rajeev Dhawan told the court that there is no evidence to show that the plaintiffs (Hindus) are the owners of the disputed land. There is no right other than that of prescription which was given to the Hindus. They were given a right to enter through the eastern door and pray.
A public order situation:
Dhavan further said that we are dealing with a public order situation here. From 1885-86, everything that the British did ie open the eastern door for the Hindus to pray was meant to maintain public order. This does not signify anything more, Dhavan also said.
He also said that the right to entry to Hindus to pray in the Babri premises does not translate to defeasance of the Muslims' title.
Deadline for wrap up revised:
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, which started the day-to-day proceedings on August 6 after mediation proceedings failed to find an amicable solution to the vexatious dispute, has revised the deadline for wrapping up the proceedings and has fixed it on October 17.
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
Initially, as many as five lawsuits were filed in the lower court. The first one was filed by Gopal Singh Visharad, a devotee of 'Ram Lalla', in 1950 to seek enforcement of the right to worship of Hindus at the disputed site.
Muslim side urged to complete arguments:
Fixing the schedule for the final leg of the lengthy arguments, the Supreme Court had said that the Muslim side would complete the arguments on October 14 and thereafter, two days would be granted to the Hindu parties to sum up their rejoinders by October 16.
October 17 would be the last day for wrapping up the hearing when the parties will have to make the final arguments about the relief they are seeking, the court had said. The bench had earlier fixed the deadline of October 18 to conclude the hearing.
The judgment in the matter is to be pronounced by November 17, the day the Chief Justice of India will demit the office.
Day to day proceedings:
The court had on August 6 commenced day-to-day proceedings in the case as the mediation proceedings initiated to find the amicable resolution had failed.
It had taken note of the report of the three-member panel, comprising Justice FMI Kallifulla, spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate and renowned mediator Sriram Panchu, that mediation proceedings, which went on for about four months, did not result in any final settlement and it had to decide the matter pending before it.