The lawyers for the Hindu and Muslim sides got into a duel on the 39th day of the hearing in the 70-year-old politically vexing Ayodhya title dispute.
The heated argument initially erupted when former Attorney General and senior advocate K. Parasaran, appearing for Hindu side, was responding to Sunni Waqf Board and other lawsuits seeking claim over the disputed site. Parasaran was interrupted by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who represents the Muslim side, after he contended Emperor Babar committed wrong by building a mosque on a site considered sacred by Hindus.
“This is entirely a new argument .I am entitled to give reply on this,” Dhavan told the five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. The Hindu side objected to this continuous interruption during their arguments, but the court said that it will allow Dhavan to reply.
In the post-lunch session, senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, who is also representing the Hindu side, objected to the continuous mumble from the opposite side during his arguments. “I cannot continue like this with this running commentary from the other side,” he told the court.
Vaidyanathan had contested the Muslim side’s argument on long and exclusive use of the property at the disputed site. Dhavan shouted that he cannot accuse him of indiscipline in the court. “Stop this,” he shouted, and this high-pitch reaction angered Vaidyanathan. “How can he say this to me,” he asked.
Chief Justice Gogoi intervened to pacify the situation. “These are mere disruptions… look how agitated you are looking,” he told Vaidyanathan.
Vaidyanathan told the court that Muslim side can only benefit from adverse possession if they agree that the deity was the prior owner of the property. “Dedication of property of mosque cannot take place by two (Hindus and Muslims), as there is no exclusive use… praying place does not amount to dedication by Waqf,” he said, questioning the concept of joint possession laid down in the judgement of one of the judges of the Allahabad High Court.
At this, Dhavan protested that Hindu side is not giving the complete picture to the court. In response, the Chief Justice said: “You do not have to point out what is obvious to the judges.”
The bench indicated that it wants to complete the hearing on the 40th day. The apex court then granted 45 minutes to Vaidyanathan to finish his arguments.