The Supreme Court, which had decided to conduct day-to-day hearing in the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, assured a counsel for Muslim parties on Monday that it would grant him break on Friday to prepare arguments. Senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Sunni Waqf Board and one of the original litigants, M Siddiq, told a 5-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that he wanted to avail the mid-week break, as promised, to prepare of the case. “My lords had said that I could get a mid-week break, can it be Wednesday,” Dhavan said.
“Take it on Friday, it will be more convenient,” the bench, which commenced hearing arguments from the Muslim side on 17th day of the crucial proceedings, told Dhavan. At the outset, Dhavan expressed regrets for “breaking decorum” of the court by objecting to the submissions of some lawyers for the Hindu parties including senior advocate P N Mishra and said that sometimes he has been “irritating”. On August 9, Dhavan had objected to the apex court’s decision to conduct day-to-day hearing in the case saying that it will be “inhuman” and “practically impossible” for him to prepare his case.
“We will continue day-to-day hearing as ordered earlier,” the bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, had said. It had however assured Dhavan that it would consider granting mid-week breaks to the senior lawyer if he needed them for preparing the case. Dhavan, who commenced the hearing from the Muslim side, argued the entire day on Monday.