“Chief Justice said I can”: Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan on tearing papers during Ayodhya case hearing

By: |
October 16, 2019 5:51 PM

Daily hearings in the politically sensitive case concluded at a little past 4 PM, about an hour ahead of schedule, and the verdict was reserved. Earlier in the day, the Chief Justice denied more time for arguments.

ayodhya hearing today, ayodhya verdict dateThe area along Sarayu river is undergoing a Rs 31-crore revamp. (Express Photo by Vishal Srivastav)

Hearings in the Ayodhya case took a dramatic turn on the last day today when senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, who was representing the Sunni Waqf Board, tore up a pictorial map presented to him by the counsel for Hindu Mahasabha Vikas Singh. The map was part of a bunch of pages from a book that the counsel had handed over to Dhavan.

The reports of Dhavan’s actions in court went viral in no time and the senior advocate was forced to offer an explanation when the court reassembled for the hearing in the post-lunch session. “I wanted to throw it away. The Chief Justice said I can tear it.” CJI Ranjan Gogoi sarcastically said that he indeed had allowed senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan to tear the pages. “Dr Dhavan is right…the chief justice said so he tore it up.”

Also Read | Ayodhya Ram Mandir Hearing Live: Arguments conclude in decades-old dispute, verdict reserved

Justice SA Nazeer then remarked, “The news of tearing is going viral. We have seen it.”

In the course of the hearing in the first half, Dhavan had objected to the reference by senior advocate Vikas Singh to the pictorial map showing the exact birthplace of Lord Ram at the disputed site in Ayodhya. Singh tried to present a book on Ayodhya, written by former IPS officer Kishore Kunal, as evidence.

“Can I have your permission to tear it,” Dhavan asked the judges, insisting the Supreme Court should not rely on this book.

The bench then said that he can shred it into pieces. “You do what you want,” replied Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. “You can shred it further,” he then said.

Also Read | Ayodhya case hearing in Supreme Court sees sharp exchanges between lawyers representing Hindu and Muslim parties

After the pages were torn, interruptions erupted from both the sides and irked the judges. The CJI then said, “Decorum has been spoiled, decorum is not maintained. If proceedings continue in this manner, we would just get up and walk out.”

Daily hearings in the politically sensitive case concluded at a little past 4 PM, about an hour ahead of schedule, and the verdict was reserved. Earlier in the day, the Chief Justice denied more time for arguments. “We will rise by 5 pm. Enough is enough,” the CJI said.

The bench, after hearing the case for 40 days, concluded the arguments in the matter and reserved the verdict. The judgment in the matter is expected to be pronounced by November 17, the day the Chief Justice of India demits office.

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