Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The Court has sought evidence of possession of Ramjanmabhumi from Nirmohi Akhara, after it contended that it had lost the records in a dacoity in 1982.

Senior advocate Sushil Kumar Jain, appearing for the Akhara, told the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, Jof that the obstruction to worship and prayer is what forced them to file the civil suits.

“Not just my right of possession but my right of management has also been taken away … There are some property rights which the Shebiat (temple custodian-priest) enjoys. It is not just office but proprietary rights are blended with it. These Shebiats are more than mere managers. They also have proprietary rights,”

The Court clarified that Section 142 of the Limitation Act speaks of possession of the immovable property but does not talk about management and hence the possession of property and management of worship are two different things. Yesterday, the Akhara had told the top court that Muslims were not allowed to enter the temple gate since 1934 and it is in their possession since then.

The counsel asserted that the inner courtyard, which includes Sita Rasoi, Bhandar Grih and a place known as “Janamasthan” are in the possession of the Akhara.

A five-judge constitution bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI)


More from the day-to-day hearing:

No Muslim has entered the disputed land since 1934: Nirmohi Akhara

Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: On Day 1 of the day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya land dispute, Nirmohi Akhara, told the 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ that Muslims were not allowed to enter the temple gate since 1934 and it is in their possession since then.

Senior advocate Sushil Jain, appearing on behalf of the Nirmohi Akhara, told the bench that the suit was filed by his client for the belonging, possession and management rights.

“The dome structure in the inner courtyard belongs to the Nirmohi Akhara. They have been wrongfully deprived of the charge and management of the temple,”

The counsel asserted that the inner courtyard, which includes Sita Rasoi, Bhandar Grih, and a place known as “Janam Asthan”, are in the possession of the Akhara.

“The idols were placed inside the mosque on the intervening night of December 22-23, 1949. The dispute for Nirmohi Akhara is for the inner courtyard and not the outer courtyard,”

He further contended that the claim over the disputed land was filed by the Nirmohi Akhara in 1934, whereas Sunni Waqf Board filed the suit in 1961.

Earlier in the day, the Court refused live streaming or audio/video recording of the proceedings due to non-feasibility of the same at the moment. KN Govindacharya had, on 05.08.2019, sought live streaming and recording of the proceedings in the Ayodhya case. He submitted that for the time being, at least the recording of proceedings can be done and at the later stage, live streaming could be considered. Govindacharya, in his petition, asserted that the public are being denied their right to access to justice under Article 21 of the Constitution.

A five-judge constitution bench is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case, after it had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.

Fourteen appeals are pending before the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict which ordered equal division of the 2.77-acre disputed land in Ayodhya among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

The 16th-century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992.

(Source: ANI)


Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court:  The Court has agreed to consider the live streaming of the proceeding in the Ayodhya land dispute case after deliberation and institutional decision-making.

A bench headed by Justice S A Bobde said that it would look into the administrative side of the matter after senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing on behalf of former RSS idealogue KN Govindacharya, mentioned the petition
before it, seeking live streaming and recording of the proceedings in the Ayodhya case. He submitted that for the time being, at least the recording of proceedings can be done and at the later stage, live streaming could be considered. Govindacharya, in his petition, asserted that the public are being denied their right to access to justice under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The plea stated

“live streaming of the Ayodhya case is required considering the fact that in the absence of live streaming of proceedings of this Court, the public are also being denied their right to know as per Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.”

It further said,

“This Court has already held that ‘right of access to justice flowing from Article 21 of the Constitution or be it the concept of justice at the doorstep, would be meaningful only if the public get access to the proceedings as it would unfold before the courts and in particular, opportunity to witness live proceedings in respect of matters having an impact on the public at large or on a section of people,”

The Supreme Court had on August 2 observed that since the mediation panel on Ayodhya matter has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter, it will hold a day-to-day hearing in the case from August 6.


Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: After the the Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla led Mediation Committee submitted the mediation report before the  5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ, the Court observed that the mediation panel has failed to achieve any final settlement in the matter and it would, hence, hold day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya dispute from August 6.

“The mediation proceedings have not resulted in any final settlement. We, therefore, have to proceed with the hearing of the cases/appeals, which will commence on and from 6.8.2019.”

The Court had, on March 8, referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, famously known as the Ayodhya Dispute, to a Court-monitored Mediation. It said:

“Notwithstanding the lack of consensus between the parties in the matter we are of the view that an attempt should be made to settle the dispute by mediation.”

The 3-member committee also consisted of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu.

[M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 958, order dated 02.08.2019]


Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ has asked the Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla led Mediation Committee to submit the outcome of the mediation proceedings as on 31.7.2019 by 1.8.2019.

 

Pursuant to the order dated 11.7.2019, Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla had submitted a report before the Court but since the Court had ordered that the proceedings of mediation will confidential, the bench refused to disclose the contents of the report. However, taking into account what has been brought to its notice by the said report, the Court fixed the daily hearing of the cases from 2.8.2019.

[M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 844, order dated 11.07.2019]


Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ has asked Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla, the Chairman of the Mediation Committee, to inform it the progress of mediation till date and the stage at which the said process is presently at, latest by 18th July, 2019. The Court said that it will accordingly pass further orders on July 18.

It also made clear,

“if this Court comes to a conclusion that, having regard to the report of Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla, the mediation proceedings should be ordered to be concluded, the Court will do so and order for commencement of the hearing of the appeals before it, tentatively, on and from 25th July, 2019, which hearings, if required, will be conducted on day-to-day basis.”

On March 8, the Court had referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, famously known as the Ayodhya Dispute, to a Court-monitored Mediation.

On May 7, Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla, a former Judge of this Court, submitted a report requesting for extension of time to complete the proceedings. Time was granted by this Court by its order dated 10th May, 2019, up to 15th August, 2019.

[M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 844, order dated 11.07.2019]


Also read:

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed [Full Report]

Should Ayodhya dispute be decided by mediation? SC to decide on March 6 [Full Report]

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either: SC

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Nirmohi Akhara, one of the parties in the Ayodhya  title dispute case, has filed an application in the Supreme Court, opposing the Centre’s plea to return to the original owners excess land acquired around the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site.

“The government cannot get back the land to give it to who they want. Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas cannot be given a majority of the land,”

The lawyer appearing for the Akhara said that the acquisition of the land by the government had led to the destruction of several temples managed by the Akhara. The Akhara has pleaded to the court to decide the title dispute.

The central government had in January this year filed a petition seeking modification of the court’s 2003 order to allow it to return the “excess/superfluous land” out of the 67.703 acres acquired in Ayodhya to its original owners including Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas. The government had been directed by the court to maintain “status quo” with regard to entire land including the non-disputed acquired areas.

(Source: ANI)


Also read

Ayodhya Dispute to be settled by a ‘confidential’ Court monitored mediation; No Gag order passed

Ram Mandir Babri Masjid| Ayodhya matter not to be referred to larger bench; matter not barred by res judicata in Ismail Faruqui case either

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ has referred the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, famously known as the Ayodhya Dispute, to a Court-monitored Mediation. It said:

“Notwithstanding the lack of consensus between the parties in the matter we are of the view that an attempt should be made to settle the dispute by mediation.”

Stating that there is no legal impediment to making a reference to mediation for a possible settlement of the disputes arising out of the appeals, the Court said that whether Order 1 rule 8 CPC and Order XXIII rule 3-B of the CPC would apply in the event parties arrive at a settlement/compromise in the mediation proceedings is a matter left open to be decided at the appropriate stage.

Panel of Mediators:

  1. Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India – Chairman
  2. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – Member
  3. Shri Sriram Panchu, Senior Advocate – Member

The members are at liberty to co-opt other members of the Panel.

Where and how:

The proceedings will take place and Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh. The Court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide mediators all the facilities in Faizabad. Mediators can seek further legal assistance as and when required. The proceedings will be held in-camera.

Time-frame:

The mediation process is expected to commence within a week and the mediators have to send a report of the progress of the mediation to the Court within four weeks of the commencement of the process.

Confidentiality of the proceedings:

The Court said that the mediation proceedings should be conducted with utmost confidentiality so as to ensure its success which can only be safeguarded by directing that the proceedings of mediation and the views expressed therein by any of the parties including the learned Mediators shall be kept confidential and shall not be revealed to any other person. The Court further said:

“while the mediation proceedings are being carried out, there ought not to be any reporting of the said proceedings either in the print or in the electronic media. However, we refrain from passing any specific order at this stage and instead empower the learned mediators to pass necessary orders in writing, if so required, to restrain publication of the details of the mediation proceedings.”

In it’s order dated 26.02.2019, the Court has said that:

“the mediation suggested is only to effectively utilize the time of eight weeks that would be taken to make the cases ready for hearing.”

Reserving it’s order on 06.03.2019, the Court had said:

“Even if there is one percent chance, it should be explored.”

[M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 342, order dated 08.03.2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ has said that it will ‘soon’ pass the order on whether the Ayodhya dispute will be referred to a Court appointed mediation for ‘permanent solution’.

The Court has asked the parties to suggest the name of a mediator or a panel of mediators. It said:

“There need not be one mediator but a panel of mediators. When the mediation is on, it should not be reported on. It may not be a gag but no motive should be attributed to anyone when the mediation process in on.”

Considering the possibility of ‘healing relations’, the Court said:

“Even if there is one percent chance, it should be explored.”

In it’s order dated 26.02.2019, the Court has said that:

“the mediation suggested is only to effectively utilize the time of eight weeks that would be taken to make the cases ready for hearing.”

(With inputs from ANI)

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and SA Bobde, Dr. DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ said that it will pass order on March 6, 2019 on whether the case may be sent for court-monitored mediation to save time.

At the outset of the hearing, CJI said that the Court will start hearing only when all the contesting parties tell it clearly whether official translated copies of records done by State of Uttar Pradesh is acceptable to all as it did not want any dispute over it in the midst of hearing. The State of Uttar Pradesh has submitted translation of the oral evidence in the case which runs into about 13000 pages.

CJI Gogoi said:

“We are not going to waste our time and of this Court if disputes are going to be raised regarding translation of the documents.”

The Court, hence, directed:

“We direct the parties to satisfy themselves with regard to the accuracy, correctness, relevance, etc. of the translation filed in the Registry by the State of Uttar Pradesh as well as the translated copies of the Exhibits made available by the parties and point out their respective agreements/objections stating precisely the part of the translations on which objections/disagreements are being raised. Once the said process is completed, which we expect the parties to do within eight weeks from today, further orders will follow so that hearing of the cases can begin in the right earnest.”

The Court, also suggested that during this 8 weeks’ time a Court appointed and Court monitored mediation with utmost confidentiality could be initiated to bring a permanent solution to the issues raised in the cases. It, however, made clear that:

“the mediation suggested is only to effectively utilize the time of eight weeks that would be taken to make the cases ready for hearing.”

Bobde, J said:

“We may decide a property dispute but we are thinking more about healing relationships.”

The bench, however, refrained from passing any order on the said suggestion for now and said that it will pass order on March 6, 2019 on the issue whether Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute be referred to Court appointed mediator.

[M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 272, order dated 26.02.2019]

(With inputs from The Leaflet)
Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: After Justice UU Lalit recused himself from the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute title case famously known as the Ayodhya dispute, the Court adjourned the matter till January 29 for deciding the schedule of hearing. Justice UU Lalit recused himself from the matter after it was pointed out that he had represented former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, in a related matter.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had formed a 5-judge Constitution Bench consisting of himself and Justice SA Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice UU Lalit and Justice Dr. DY Chandrachud, after he along with Justice SK Kaul had ordered on January 4 that an “appropriate bench” constituted by it will pass an order on January 10.

Earlier on 27.09.2018, a Bench comprising of former CJ Dipak Misra and Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ., by a majority of 2:1, had held that the appeals concerning the Ayodhya (Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid) matter need not be referred to a larger Bench for consideration.

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: In a hearing that lasted for less than a minute, the bench comprising Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and S K Kaul, J said that an appropriate bench constituted by it will pass an order on January 10 for fixing the date of hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute title case famously known as the Ayodhya dispute.

Earlier on 27.09.2018, a Bench comprising of former CJ Dipak Misra and Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ., by a majority of 2:1, had held that the appeals concerning the Ayodhya (Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid) matter need not be referred to a larger Bench for consideration.

(Source: PTI)

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of CJ Dipak Misra and Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ., by a majority of 2:1, held that the appeals concerning the Ayodhya (Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid) matter need not be referred to a larger Bench for consideration. Ashok Bhushan, J. delivered the majority judgment for CJ Dipak Misra and himself. While S. Abdul Nazeer, J. in his separate opinion was of the view that the matter should be referred to a larger Bench.

The present appeals were fixed for commencement of final arguments on 05-12-2017, when Dr Rajeev Dhavan, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants submitted that the Constitution Bench Judgment of the Court in Ismail Faruqui v. Union of India, (1994) 6 SCC 360 needs reconsideration, hence the reference be made to a larger Bench. In Ismail Faruqui, while the Constitution Bench (per majority) upheld the validity of the Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993 except that of Section 4(3) of the Act which was struck down; it also made observations that a mosque s not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam and namaz (prayer) by Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in open. According to Dr Dhavan, the law laid down in Ismail Faruqui in relation to praying in a mosque not being an essential practice is contrary to both, i.e. the law relating to essential practice and the process by which essential practice is to be considered. Whether essential practice can be decided on a mere ipse dixit of the Court or whether the Court is obliged to examine belief, tenets and practices, is a pure question of law. He submitted that Ismail Faruqui judgment being devoid of any examination on the above issues, the matter need to go to a larger Bench.

The Court had to find out the context of observations made in the judgment which according to the appellant were questionable and to decide whether the said observations furnish any ground for reconsideration of the Constitution Bench judgment. After referring to a plethora of judgments, Ashok Bhushan, J. observed that the question as to whether particular religious practice is essential or integral part of the religion is a question, which has to be considered by considering the doctrine, tenets and beliefs of the religion. What Dr Dhavan contended was that the Constitution Bench in Ismail Faruqui, without there being any consideration of essentiality of a religion, made the questionable observations. It was observed from that the context for making the said observation was a claim of immunity of a mosque from acquisition. Whether every mosque is the essential part of the practice of religion of Islam, acquisition of which ipso facto may violate the rights under Articles 25 and 26, was the question which had cropped up for consideration before the Constitution Bench. The observation has been made to emphasise there is no immunity of the mosque from the acquisition. What the Court in Ismail Faruqui meant was that unless the place of offering of prayer has a particular significance so that any hindrance to worship may violate right under Articles 25 and 26, any hindrance to offering of prayer at any place shall not affect right under Articles 25 and 26. the observation need not be read broadly to hold that a mosque can never be an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam.

As to the question of res judicata –the present proceedings being barred in light of the decision in Ismail Faruqui, the Court held that the issues which were involved in that case were validity of the Act of 1993. The issues which have been framed in the suits giving rise to the present appeals were different issues which could not be said to be directly and substantially in issue in Ismail Faruqui. On this count alone, the plea of res judicata as raised by the respondent was liable to be rejected.

While concluding, the Court held that the questionable observations made in Ismail Faruqui, as noted above, were made in context of land acquisition. Those observations were neither relevant for deciding the suits nor relevant deciding the present appeals. Therefore, the Court was of the considered opinion that no case was made out to refer the Constitution Bench judgment Ismail Faruqui for reconsideration. Hence, no case has been made out seeking reference of these appeals to a Constitution Bench of this Court.

S. Abdul Nazeer, J., in his separate opinion stated that he was unable to accept the view of the Justice Bhushan that no case had been made out seeking reference of the present appeals to a Constitution Bench of this Court. However, he was in respectful agreement with the opinion on the question of res judicata. Therefore, while concluding, considering the Constitutional importance and significance of the issues involved, he was of the opinion that following questions need to be referred to a larger Bench:

(a) Whether in the light of Commissioner, Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras v. Sri Lakshmindra Thirtha Swamiar of Sri Shirur Mutt, AIR 1954 SC 282 and other cases, an essential practice can be decided without a detailed examination of the beliefs, tenets and practice of the faith in question?

(b) Whether the test for determining the essential practice is both essentiality and integrality?

(c) Does Article 25, only protect belief and practices of particular significance of a faith or all practices regarded by the faith as essential?

(d) Do Articles 15, 25 and 26 (read with Article 14) allow the comparative significance of faiths to be undertaken?

As per the majority, it was held that the present appeal does not require to be referred to a larger Bench nor does the Ismail Faruqui case needs reconsideration. The matter was disposed of accordingly. [M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 1677, decided on 27-09-2018]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The 3-Judge Bench comprising of CJI Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan, and S. Abdul Nazeer JJ. resumed with the proceedings on the ongoing Ayodhya matter dispute over the rights of the Hindu and Muslim community to build a temple or a masjid today.

Shia Waqf Board submitted to the Supreme Court that they want to settle the dispute by peace. They also stated that the custodian of the Babri mosque was a Shia and the Sunni Waqf Board or anyone else is not the representative of Muslims in India.

Senior Advocate Rajiv Dhawan said ‘Shia Waqf Board has no locus to speak in this case.’

‘No faith has the right to destroy a mosque. The fact that a mosque is destroyed does not conclude the argument of the right to prayer’: Rajeev Dhawan

Further, Dhawan placed his arguments on whether collateral issue decided by Court would constitute ‘Res Judicata’.

Shia Waqf Board: Matter need not be referred to Constitution Bench reiterates that it is ready to relinquish claims in the national interest.

The proceedings in the said matter to continue on 20-07-2018.

[Source: ANI]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: In the Ram Janamabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, famously known as the Ayodhya matter, Senior Advocate Raju Ramchandran, appearing for Sunni Waqf Board asked the 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and AK Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ to refer the matter to a Constitutional bench. He said that “the issue needs larger consideration keeping in view that it is a national issue.”

Senior Advocate Harish Salve said:

“We are beyond 1992-1993. All that remains is a title dispute over property. It should be decided just like a title suit, and not on other grounds.”

The bench has listed the matter for further hearing on 15.05.2018.

On the last hearing, the Court witnessed a high voltage drama when Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan and Additional Solicitors Generals Maninder Singh and Tushar Mehta engaged in war of words.

Source: ANI

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: When the 3-judge Bench of Dipak Misra, CJI and Ashok Bhushan and S.A. Nazeer, JJ assembled to hear the Ram Janamabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, famously known as the Ayodhya matter, it saw a heated exchange between Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan and Additional Solicitors Generals Maninder Singh and Tushar Mehta.

Below are the excerpts from the heated exchange that took centre stage instead of the arguments in the Ayodhya matter:

  • Maninder Singh asks Rajeev Dhavan to move a bit.
  • Dhavan: Sit down Mr. Maninder Singh, sit down.
  • Singh: Behave yourself Mr. Dhavan.
  • Dhavan: Don’t talk nonsense.
  • Singh: You are talking nonsense.
  • Tushar Mehta (Supporting ASG Maninder Singh): There are people who are arrogant. With due respect to the learned senior counsel, he seems to have undergone a course in it.
  • Dhavan (To the Bench): Why are they sitting next to me and murmuring away and murmuring away?
  • Mehta: Why are you standing near us? There is enough space there.

Rajeev Dhavan then made some comments against former Attorney General and senior advocate K Parasaran, appearing for a Hindu group. He said:

“I am not indulging in theatrics and drama like Mr Parasaran. He suddenly gets up and says things.”

Senior Counsel C S Vaidyanathan and ASG Mehta took offence to the language used by Dhavan. The bench then reminded Dhavan that Parasaran was the former Attorney General of India.

Rajeev Dhavan, who has been pressing for referring the Ayodhya Matter to a Constitution Bench, asked the Bench that why did the Court chose to refer pleas to declare polygamy unconstitutional to a Constitution Bench but was skeptical in referring the Ramjanmabhoomi title appeals to a five-judge Bench, that too, despite repeated requests from the Muslim parties. He said:

“The Ramjanmabhoomi case is the most important issue that affects India’s secularism, more than polygamy.”

To this, Bhushan, J said that the order passed in the polygamy case could not be made a ground to refer the Ramjanmabhoomi appeals to a Constitution Bench. The Bench then told Dhavan that it will hear the arguments from both sides before taking a call on whether the case should be sent to a five-judge Bench. CJI said that the Bench was aware of the high significance and the enormous impact of the question of Muslim rights of worship raised in the Ramjanmabhoomi case and that is why it has decided to hear the matter keenly.

The Court will now hear the matter on 27.04.2018. Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan will continue his arguments on the said date.

Source: The Hindu

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ dismissed all the intervention applications filed in the Ram Janamabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, famously known as the Ayodhya matter, and directed the Registry not to entertain any interlocutory applications for intervention/ impleadment/ for filing any book or additional documents/ for seeking permission to give assistance in these appeals from any third party.

Applications of Shyam Benegal, Aparna Sen and Teesta Setalvad were part of the 32 intervention applications that were rejected by the Court. The Court also rejected the application filed by Subramanian Swamy, however, it ordered the revival of Swamy’s disposed plea that had sought enforcement of his fundamental right to worship at Ram Temple in Ayodhya. He had told the Court:

“my fundamental rights are higher than my property rights.”

Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan appeared before the Court in today’s hearing after his client asked him to reconsider his decision to give up court practice. Rajeev Dhavan had given up court practice after the humiliating end to the Delhi case,  in which, a heated exchange had taken place between him and CJI.

Rajeev Dhavan had submitted before the Court that the matter should be referred to a larger bench in view of the decision rendered by the Constitution Bench in M. Ismail Faruqui (Dr) v. Union of India, (1994) 6 SCC 360. The Court hence said:

“we should hear Dr. Dhawan, learned senior counsel appearing in one of the appeals on behalf of the appellants, whether the judgment in Dr. M. Ismail Faruqui (supra) requires reconsideration.”

The Bench, however, made it clear that clear that it’s addressing the said issue shall singularly relate to whether the Bench should think of that the dictum in Dr. M. Ismail Faruqui (supra) requires reconsideration and in that event, it may pass appropriate orders for placing the matter before a five-Judge Bench for consideration of the said judgment.

On 05.12.2017, the Court had refused to defer the matter till 2019 and had asked all the counsels to work in harmony in order to achieve speedy disposal of the matter. On the same day, the Courtroom witnessed another exchange between Rajeev Dhavan and CJI when Rajeev Dhavan told the Court that he would require four months to read prepare and argue the matter. On this, the Court said:

“Dr. Dhavan, learned senior counsel almost thought of writing a Shavian preface, which can more than be main drama or a play, by stating that he would require four months to read, prepare and argue. We have noted this, as the said submission was advanced with medieval passion and sans reason.”

The Court will now hear the matter on March 23. [M. Siddiq v. Mahant Suresh Das, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 222, order dated 14.03.2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Fixing the next hearing on 08.02.2018, the 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ asked all the Advocates-on Record appearing for all the parties to work in harmony and see to it that the documents are filed within a time-frame, if not already filed. The Court said that, on the next date, the advocates should come prepared to argue the matter and shall not seek any adjournment and if the Registry finds that the matter is incomplete for some reason or the other, it shall place the matter before the learned Chief Justice of India on the administrative side for fixing a date for completion of the record.

The said order came after Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sunni Waqf Board, told the Court that the pleadings were not complete as all the exhibits were not filled before the court. However, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, representing the State of Uttar Pradesh, rebutted Kapil Sibal’s claim and told the Court that all the related documents and requisite translation copies were on record.

The Court also expressed shock over certain arguments advanced by Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal and Dushyant Dave. During the course of hearing, the counsels had submitted before the Court that the matter should be heard at present as it was not an ordinary appeal arising out of ordinary suit and that the matter should be listed some time in 2019.

Regarding the submission made by Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan that he would require four months to read prepare and argue, the Court said:

“Dr. Dhavan, learned senior counsel almost thought of writing a Shavian preface, which can more than be main drama or a play, by stating that he would require four months to read, prepare and argue. We have noted this, as the said submission was advanced with medieval passion and sans reason.”

The Court refused to accept the abovementioned submissions.

Rajeev Dhavan had also sought for referring the matter to a larger bench in view of the decision rendered by the Constitution Bench in M. Ismail Faruqui (Dr) v. Union of India, (1994) 6 SCC 360. However, Senior Advocates K. Parasran and Harish Salve submitted before the Court that:

“the issue whether the matter should be referred to a larger Bench or not, cannot be adjudged at this juncture, because the judgment by the Constitution Bench is binding on this Court and further if an occasion arises and if the context so requires, the matter may be considered at that stage, but that should not stall the process of hearing of this matter.”

Refusing to stall the hearing in the matter, the Court listed the matter on 08.02.2018. [M.Siddiq (D) v. Mahant Suresh Das,  2017 SCC OnLine SC 1416, order dated 05.12.2017]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, JJ allowed 3-months time for the translation of the historic documents after the Sunni Waqf Board said that the translation was incomplete as all the original historic documents were in Sanskrit, Parsi, Urdu, Arabic and other languages. Granting 3 months’ time for the translation of the documents crucial to the settlement of the Ram janmbhoomi and Babri Masjid dispute, the Court listed the matter to be taken up for hearing on 05.12.2017.

Earlier, on 08.08.2017, the Shia Waqf Board had filed an affidavit before the supreme Court in which it had said that it was fine if the Masjid was located in a Muslim dominated area at a reasonable distance from Lord Ram’s birth place i.e. Ram Janmabhoomi and that since the Babri Masjid was a Shia Waqf, the Shia Waqf Baord alone is entitled to negotiate and arrive at a peaceful settlement with the stakeholders.

Source: ANI

 

Hot Off The PressNews

On 08.08.2017, the Shia Waqf Board filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya matter and said that it was fine if the Masjid was located in a Muslim dominated area at a reasonable distance from Lord Ram’s birth place i.e. Ram Janmabhoomi. In the affidavit, the Board has mentioned that since the Babri Masjid was a Shia Waqf, the Shia Waqf Baord alone is entitled to negotiate and arrive at a peaceful settlement with the stakeholders.

The Babri Masjid was built in the 16th century and was demolished in the year 1992 for allegedly being built over the Ram Janmabhoomi. The demolition resulted into nation-wide communal riots between Hindu and Muslim community that killed around 900 people. Since then, there has been an ongoing dispute over the rights of the Hindu and Muslim community to build a temple or a masjid, respectively.

Source: ANI