Day after concluding the hearing in Ayodhya case, members of the 5-Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will sit "in chambers" on Thursday. The Supreme Court had issued a notice in this regard, stating the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and four other judges will sit in chambers, where parties involved are not allowed.
"Take notice that on Thursday the October 17, the Chief Justice, Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer will sit in chambers", the notice said.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court had concluded the hearing in the Ayodhya land dispute case following which the judgement was reserved.
Arguments of the Hindu and Muslim parties were heard by the bench for 40 days.
It granted three days to contesting parties to file written notes on 'moulding of relief' or narrowing down the issues on which the court is required to adjudicate.
What happened in court on Wednesday
The concluding day of the marathon hearing during which Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi heading a 5-judge Constitution bench observed "enough is enough" was marked by high drama when Rajeev Dhawan, a senior counsel for the Muslim parties, tore a pictorial map provided by Hindu Mahasabha purportedly showing the exact birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
Dhavan, appearing for the Muslim parties, took strong objection to senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for All India Hindu Mahasabha (AIHM), relying on a site map and books written by foreign and Indian authors to buttress claims that the central dome of the now-demolished structure was the birthplace of the deity and asked the bench as to what he should do with it (map).
The bench said he can shred the documents into pieces. Dhavan then tore the pictorial map in the courtroom.
The drama did not end and during the post-lunch session, Dhavan made a reference to his action and said, "outside the court, it has become viral".
"The news that has become viral is that I on my own tore the papers," he said.
Dhavan said he had asked and sought the permission of the bench whether those papers can be thrown and the reply from the CJI was "if it is irrelevant, you can tear it".
"The CJI said I could shred the papers and I just followed the order. I take the advice of Mr (Arvind) Datar (a senior advocate) in such matters and he told me it was a mandamus (a kind of writ or direction)," Dhavan said.
The CJI shot back saying, "Dhavan is right that the chief justice said, so he tore up. Let this clarification also be widely reported."
The Ayodhya case
The high voltage hearing in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute involving 2.77 acres of land is the second-longest after the landmark Keshvanand Bharti case in 1973, during which the proceedings for propounding the doctrine of the basic structure of the Constitution continued for 68 days. The hearing on the validity of Aadhaar scheme lasted for 38 days in the top court which came into existence in 1950.
The bench, also comprising SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, came out with schedules for hearing more than once and the arguments, which were first fixed to be concluded by October 18, was advanced to October 17, but on Wednesday, it decided to wrap it up saying "enough is enough".