The Supreme Court restrained a Hindu party from placing or relying on any material as new evidence in the Ayodhya land dispute case, saying it won't allow it at this stage of the hearing which entered the 36th day on Thursday.
"Just because a five-judge Constitution bench is sitting you cannot bring any new materials at this stage. The Constitution bench is hearing this case because of the importance and sensitivity of the matter," said a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
The bench stopped senior advocate P N Mishra, appearing for a Hindu party, from referring to the sacredness of Rama Sethu based on the Skanda Purana.
Ram Sethu -- a mythological bridge, also called Adam's bridge, believed to have been built by Lord Ram to reach Lanka -- is a chain of limestone shoals between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the south-eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, and Mannar Island, off the north-western coast of Sri Lanka.
The bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, said it would not take on record the reference of any new evidence relating to the matter.
While curtailing Mishra's arguments, the bench said that at this stage, when the parties are responding to the submissions made by the other side, it would not consider any fresh material which did not come up during the submissions.
"If we consider your new material then we will have to give other side time to rebut it. Sorry, we can't take any new evidence at this stage," the bench said.
The remarks were made by the bench which also took note of the objections raised by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who said no such arguments were made or any such material placed during the hearing before the Allahabad High Court or here.
Dhavan, appearing for Muslim parties, periodically raised objections when advocates for the Hindu parties tried to bring out some new facts and materials to counter the arguments of the opposing sides.
The bench made it clear that it would not allow any party to prolong the hearing and would conclude it within the already set time frame by October 18.
The CJI said the bench would stick to the time schedule and did not even allow former Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for one of the Hindu parties, to argue for more than 10 minutes and so was the case with former Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, who rounded up his submission within 15 minutes.
The counsel for Nirmohi Akhara, Sushil Jain, also faced the same treatment and was stopped from extending his submissions.