SC Bench to conduct closed-door proceedings on mediation panel report

First India presents the timeline of the day that went by. Excerpts….

October 16, 2019

1:17 pm
After the Shia Waqf Board concludes its submissions, the Supreme Court Bench breaks for lunch. Rajeev Dhavan, who is representing the Muslim side, will get an hour for his arguments after the break. 

1:30 pm
Here’s a picture of the map, which was torn up by Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan (representing Muslim parties). The map is from the book ‘Ayodhya Revisited’ and shows the contentious spot.

1:34 pm
All India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC)’s convener Zafaryab Jilani says that he doesn’t have any information about the withdrawal of Sunni Waqf Board’s appeal.

2:25 pm
Senior Advocate PN Mishra, who is arguing for one of the Hindu parties — the Punaruddhar Samiti — refers to ‘Baburnama’ that mentions Babur followed Islam. This, Mishra says, demolishes the claim by the Muslim side that Babur was a ruler and wasn’t bound by any law or rules.

2:34 pm
As PN Mishra continues to argue on the chronology of historical events to prove the Hindu parties’ side in the case. Justice DY Chandrachud requests him to submit specifically on points of limitation. “We are now on the real essence of the matter,” says the judge.

2:39 pm
The Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan commences his final arguments by saying that he will address the issues of the opposing sides point-by-point. Justice SA Nazeer says that one of the questions also pertains to the competency of the Sunni Waqf Board to maintain the suit.

2:41 pm
“Have they been honest enough to bring honest facts before the court,” Rajeev Dhavan questions the Hindu Mahasabha’s narrative saying that there are eight factions and now four distinct submissions in the case. 

2:48 pm
CJI Ranjan Gogoi sarcastically replies to senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan saying that “Dr Dhavan is right…the chief justice said so he tore it up.” “The incident has now gone viral,” says Justice Abdul Nazeer. 

3:05 pm
Rajeev Dhavan calls PN Mishra’s argument “next to foolish” and says that the senior advocate does not anything about land revenue. Justice Chandrachud reprimands Dhavan and asks him not to make personal comments. 

3:22 pm
Rajeev Dhavan also counters the arguments posed by K Parasaran,who is appearing for ‘Ram Lalla Virajman’, saying that no “act of God” can be attributable to Babur and hence the latter wasn’t bound by any law. Dhavan is referring to Parasaran arguments from earlier hearing in which he had said that a historical wrong done by Babur needs to be corrected. 

3:29 pm
Senior Advocate Rajeev Dhavan comments says that he still has reply to several people to which the CJI retorts that no one is in a hurry. “I can see the curtains behind you is open now,” Dhavan says. “That’s since the morning. It is for fresh air. You can switch sides if you want to stand in front of them.”

3:58 pm
“My plea is not only for title. There are other aspects. The declaration is for a public Waqf. It was a public mosque. It includes mosque, land and many things. If Hindus are able to prove title before 1855, i adversely own the place for more than 2 centuries,” reiterates Dhavan.

4:01 pm
SC reserves judgement in the Ayodhya case. Written submissions are to be submitted in the next three days.
4:04 pm
Supreme Court has finished hearing all arguments in the Ayodhya case one hour before the set deadline. All parties can submit their written notes over the next three days.
4:05 pm
The hearing for the Ayodhya land dispute case went on for 40 days. 

Tracing the history of Babri Masjid from 1528, till date

The Babri Masjid was a mosque in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh built in approximately 1528–29 CE (935 AH) by Mir Baqi, on orders of the Mughal emperor Babur.

The mosque was located on a hill known as Ramkot and a section of the Hindu community claimed that the Mughals destroyed a structure marking the birthplace of Rama (Ram Janmabhoomi) to build the mosque. This, however, was denied by the opposing Muslims.

On December 6, 1992, the mosque was demolished by frenzied kar sevaks who were mobilised by L K Advani’s rath yatra.

Here’s a chronology of events related to Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi

Babar’s commander, Mir Baqi, builds mosque

British administrator erects fence to separate the places of worship, with the inner court to be used by Muslims and outer court by Hindus

The Janam Asthan suit of Mahant Raghubardas, seeking permission to build a temple over a chabutra, denied and dismissed

Hindu priests file a number of suits in the next nine years demanding the right to perform puja and place idols inside the structure, and the Nirmohi Akhara files a suit demanding actual control of the site in 1959

VHP formed to safeguard “Hindu interests”1984 Parliament elections in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s assassination give massive victory to Congress, reducing BJP to two Lok Sabha seats

Hindu outfits form a committee to “liberate” the birth-place of Lord Ram and build a temple in his honour

The gates of the disputed mosque opened to allow Hindus to worship there following a court order. Babri Masjid Action Committee set up by protestors.

Oct 23, Laloo Prasad Yadav arrests Advani and stops his “rath yatra” in Samastipur1990 Police fire at VHP kar sevaks who defy orders and march into the disputed area

Nov 10, V.P. Singh loses confidence vote, and resigns. Soon after, Chandra Shekhar is sworn in as prime minister with Congress support

BJP wins four states: MP, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, UP

Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao dismisses four BJP governments in the wake of Babri Masjid demolition by BJP supporters

Liberhan Commission formed

Communal riots take place in Bombay followed by serial bomb blasts, killing hundreds of people

PM A.B. Vajpayee sets up a cell in his office and appoints Shatrughan Singh to find a solution by talking to Hindus and Muslims

Communal riots erupt in Gujarat following the Godhra train attack

ASI begins a court-ordered survey to find out if a Ram temple existed at the site. It finds evidence of a temple but Muslims dispute the finding.

A UP court reverses an earlier order exonerating Advani from his alleged role in the demolition

17 years after being constituted, the Liberhan Commission submits its report

Allahabad High Court rules, splitting the site and giving one-third each to the Muslims, Hindus and the Nirmohi Akhara. The site of the mosque is given to the Hindus.

Supreme Court suspends High Court ruling after Hindu and Muslim groups appeal

BJP’s Narendra Modi leads the NDA coalition to power at the Centre, winning 336 seats

SC says charges against Advani and other leaders cannot be dropped and must be revived

April 19, SC pronounces its verdict, charging the BJP leaders with criminal conspiracy, and asks the trial court in Lucknow to complete hearing in 2 years

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat announces that only Ram temple will be built at the disputed site, ahead of the Supreme Court hearing

After hearing multiple parties in the numerous civil suits, the Supreme Court directed the matter to be heard in January 2019 before an appropriate bench, althoiugh it did not specify a date