The Supreme Court Friday reserved its verdict on a plea to refer its 1994 judgment in the M Ismail Faruqui case, which said a “mosque is not an essential part of the practice of…Islam”, to a larger bench after a high-voltage hearing.
The ruckus started as soon as the hearing began after 2 pm with a lawyer, Hari Shankar Jain, objecting to remarks by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who is representing one of the appellants, M I Siddiqui. Dhavan had told the bench, comprising CJI Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, on the previous hearing on July 13 that Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was destroyed by “Hindu Taliban”.
Jain asked how Dhavan could make such a statement. “Hindus are being targeted. This forum is being used to abuse us,” he told the bench. Soon, other lawyers joined Jain and a shouting match followed. “My friend is reducing the proceedings to a mockery,” said senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan.
As the decibels went up, the bench intervened. CJI Misra said, “Adjectives used must have acceptance in court room…These adjectives have to be used outside Court”.
As Justice Bhushan said it did not want to give a ruling on it, Dhavan said he does not agree with the bench. Justice Bhushan added he had the right to disagree but the bench had its right to convey its stand. As arguments continued, the CJI intervened and told a lawyer who was speaking aloud to leave the courtroom. He then told Dhavan, “we consider it (the Hindu Taliban remark) absolutely inappropriate”.
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