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Ayodhya Hearing: Live Updates from Supreme Court [Day 1]

Bar & Bench

The hearing in the case relating to the Ayodhya/Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir case is currently underway at the Supreme Court of India.

The 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.

The Ayodhya case was referred to a Constitution Bench on January 9 this year. Earlier, a three-judge Bench had  declined to refer the matter to a larger Bench.

In March this year, the Bench referred the Ayodhya dispute to a mediation panel comprising of former Supreme Court judge Justice FMI Kalifulla, spiritualist Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu.

Live Updates of today’s hearing follow:

  • Constitution Bench of Supreme Court assembles, hearing commences.
  • Senior Advocate Sushil Kumar Jain making submissions on behalf of Nirmohi Akhara.
  • I have been in occupation of the inner courtyard for 100s of years, Sushil Kumar Jain for Nirmohi Akhara
  • The place known as Ram Janmasthan was also in possession of Nirmohi Akhara.
  • Attachment order of 1951 is confined to the inner portion, Sushil Kumar Jain for Nirmohi Akhara.
  • The outer courtyard was not in dispute and therefore my suit was confined to the inner portion, Sushil Kumar Jain for Nirmohi Akhara.
  • Sushil Kumar Jain reading from the plaint; Submits Ram Janmasthan belongs to, has been in possession of and managed by Nirmohi Akhara
  • Nirmohi Akhara manages several temples, Sushil Kumar Jain explaining the legal status and functions of Nirmohi Akhara. Jhansi Ki Rani was protected by Nirmohi Akhara in a temple before she died, submits Sushil Kumar Jain.
  • The plaintiffs have been wrongfully deprived of the charge and management of the temple, Sushil Kumar Jain.
  • I am making a prayer for removal of the Receiver and giving the custody and management to the plaintiff, Sushil Kumar Jain for Nirmohi Akhara.

Heated exchange between CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Rajeev Dhavan

Dhavan gets up in between to speak when CJI stops him and tells him to speak when it is his turn.

Rajeev Dhavan
Rajeev Dhavan

“Mr. Dhavan please maintain the dignity of the court”, CJI Gogoi

“Your Lordships asked a question, I answered”, Dhavan

“There is a way to answer it, you are an officer of the Court”, CJI Gogoi.

  • Justice Chandrachud queried about the basis of the claim of Nirmohi Akhara – possession or ownership? Ownership because of possession, replies Sushil Kumar Jain.
  • Sushil Kumar Nain citing judgments to the effect that a place cannot be considered a mosque if no prayers/ namaz is offered there.
  • Sushil Kumar Jain reading from Allahabad High Court judgment on whether the disputed structure was constructed after demolition of temple.
  • Bench rises for lunch, hearing to resume at 2 pm.

Post-Lunch session

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