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Tuesday 21 January 2020

Time given to hear Hindu side in Ayodhya case likened to T20 match

Know the time allotted to advocates on the Hindu side — Sushil Jain, Ranjit Kumar and PS Narasimha — in the Ayodhya case to respond to the arguments of the Muslim side

A season of complaints and annoyance seems to have descended on the Supreme Court as it hears the Ayodhya land title case. After CJI Ranjan Gogoi rebuked Rajeev Dhavan, one of the advocates for the Muslim side, on 1 October for repeating an argument ad nauseam, he got upset with one of the lawyers on the Hindu side today.

During today’s episode, after both the Hindu parties to the dispute finished their respective arguments in 20 minutes on the 36th day of the hearing, the Chief Justice told the lawyer of Nirmohi Akhara that he had one-and-a-half hours for the purpose. To that, Akhara lawyer Sushil Jain said that the hearing of his side was going on as though it were a T20 match. CJI Gogoi expressed displeasure at the remark and said this grievance was misplaced as the Hindu side had been given four or five days to complete its arguments.

Recently, Supreme Court Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had asked all the parties of the Ayodhya case to complete their arguments by 18 October after which the bench would take, he said, about four weeks to write the verdict. However, after the Muslim side completed its course, the Hindu side had to give its reply by Thursday evening.

Jain regretted making the statement even as Ranjit Kumar, representing Hindu party Gopal Singh Visharad, had got barely 5 minutes to answer and Ram Lalla lawyer PS Narasimha got 15 minutes.

Citing the Skanda Purana, advocate for Ram Lalla Virajman Narasimha said on Thursday that the Skanda Purana mentioned the place of birth of Lord Rama and that this had been the belief of Hindus that salvation was attained by a pilgrimage to the site in Ayodhya. The evidence from the archaeology department “confirms our belief”, he said.

After this, the Supreme Court asked Jain how long it would take for him to complete his argument. Jain said that he would not waste even a minute of the court. “I will finish as soon as possible,” he said.

The advocate for the Nirmohi Akhara said, “We are a very poor party in this case. I know that you do not have time to write the decision, but without listening to me, your decision will be incomplete, as my whole case is based on (the subject of) possession.”

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