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Ayodhya Hearing: Live Updates from Supreme Court [Day 9]
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Ayodhya Hearing: Live Updates from Supreme Court [Day 9]

Bar & Bench

The hearing in the Ayodhya case is progressing at the Supreme Court of India.

The Ayodhya case is being heard by a Constitution Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer.

Hearings had commenced on August 6, with arguments being made on behalf of the Nirmohi Akhara. In the following hearings, submissions were also made on behalf of the deity Ram Lalla.

Read an account of Day 1 of the arguments here.

Accounts of the arguments made on Days 2 and 3 can be read here and here.

Arguments made on Day 5 can be read here. Day 6 arguments can be read here and Day 7 arguments can be read here. Day 8 arguments can be read here

Below are live updates from today’s hearing in the Ayodhya case:

  • Day 9 hearing commences; CS Vaidyanathan resumes his arguments.
  • CS Vaidyanathan citing precedents on adverse possession and ownership. “There has never been any adverse possession in this case. Hindus have always expressed their desire to worship at this place”, Vaidyanathan.
  • Discussion now happening on how question of adverse possession will arise only if the property is alienable.
  • The property itself being birthplace of Ram and a deity, it is res extra commercium. Thus, there is no question of anyone putting up a mosque there and claiming adverse possession, CS Vaidyanathan argues.
  • There cannot be a destruction of an idol or temple. Even if there is no temple, the place itself has sanctity which will always remain, CS Vaidyanathan.
  • The property is res extra commercium and cannot be transferred, sold, alienated or dealt with in any manner, argues Vaidyanathan.
  • In Hindu law unlike in Mohammaden law, a person in the capacity of trustee or Shabait cannot alienate the property, submits Vaidyanathan.
  • Discussion happening now on whether property can be alienated and when the same can be done.
  • Whether a mosque is a juristic person or not? Vaidyanathan citing 1940 judgment in Masjid Shahid Ganj case. He says that judgment never answered that question conclusively, says Vaidyanathan.
  • This place due to the very fact that Ram was born here has divinity and needs to be treated differently, CS Vaidyanathan.
  • Bench rises for lunch, hearing to resume at 2 pm.

Post Lunch Session

  • Bench resumes hearing. CJI Ranjan Gogoi asks CS Vaidyanathan to close his arguments.
  • Their suits having been dismissed as time-barred, how can they grant relief to them in my suit when most of the findings are in my favour, Vaidyanathan asks.
  • The trial was by a Full Bench of High Court. Supreme Court should be circumspect while interfering with the findings of the High Court, Vaidyanathan concludes arguments.
  • Senior Advocate PN Mishra commences arguments.
  • PN Mishra is making submissions on behalf of Ram Janmabhoomi Punaruddhar Samiti.
  • Are you party to the suit, asks CJI Ranjan Gogoi. “I am. I am defendant no. 20 in suit 4”, replies PN Mishra.
  • I will argue that based on our doctrine, tenets, and beliefs, it is a temple. I will start with Atharva Veda, submits PN Mishra.
  • It is our case that Babur never built a mosque there and Hindus have been worshipping at that place all along, submits PN Mishra.
  • PN Mishra relying on Skanda Purana, Valmiki Ramayana to argue on the exact location of Ram Janmasthan.
  • Hindu texts as the basis for faith is not disputed; what we really need are objective parameters, documentary evidence for the temple, Bench tells PN Mishra.
  • The bench is more interested in objective evidence than references to scriptures.
  • Justice Chandrachud asks what is the relevance of who built the mosque – be it Babur or somebody else? Was there a mosque? That’s what is relevant, Justice Chandrachud to PN Mishra.
  • Bench says they will hear PN Mishra later. Now Supreme Court moves on to VN Sinha who is appearing for President of Hindu Mahasabha.
  • Sinha raising the point of title claimed by Muslims. Once the territory of Awadh was annexed to the British empire, all structures raised on the soil also got annexed to Britain, Sinha says.
  • Bench objects, says territory annexed means sovereignty is lost; Does not mean all structures in the territory is vested with the empire.
  • Sinha says he did not think his turn to argue would come today. “I thought I would be asked to argue at the very end”, says Sinha. “Is anybody in suit no. 5 ready to argue”, asks CJI Ranjan Gogoi.
  • Now Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar making arguments for plaintiff Gopal Singh who died in 1986 and his son has been substituted. He is the plaintiff in suit no. 1, defendant no. 1 in suit no. 4 and defendant no. 1 in suit 5.
  • My case is that I am a worshipper, submits Ranjit Kumar.
  • Bench rises for the day.