As Supreme Court hearing on the Ayodhya land dispute case enters the last leg, Muslim parties Monday alleged that the CJI-led bench posed questions only to them and not to the Hindu side, news agency PTI reported.
“Your Lordship didn’t ask a question to the other side. All the questions have been asked to us only. Of course, we are answering them,” senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who represents lead petitioner M Siddiq and the All India Sunni Waqf Board in the Ayodhya case told the bench.
The submission was vehemently opposed by senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, representing deity ‘Ram Lalla’, who said: “This is totally unwarranted”. Today is the 38th day of the hearing.
Dhavan’s remark came when the bench, which also comprises justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, said that the idea behind erecting an iron railing at the disputed site was to separate the inner courtyard from the outer courtyard. By constructing an iron railing, the idea was to separate Hindus and Muslims and it was to appreciate the fact that Hindus were offering prayers in the outer courtyard where ‘Ram Chabutra’, ‘Sita Rasoi’, ‘Bhandar Grih’ were situated, the court said.
The bench also took note of Dhavan’s submissions that the Hindus only had “prescriptive right” to enter and offer prayers at the site and it does not mean that they had ownership claim over the disputed property.
As you say they had the right to pray and enter, does it not dilute your right to ownership, the bench asked. It further said that in case of “exclusive ownership” over a property, could a third person be allowed entry and right to pray.
Meanwhile, section 144 has been imposed in Ayodhya till December 10, ahead of the SC verdict in the land dispute case. The latest order prohibits the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in the area without permission. It also bars boating in the district and the sale and manufacture of firecrackers.
The hearing in the case concludes this week on October 17 and the judgment is expected before the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi retires on November 17.
(With inputs from PTI)