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Ram Mandir case: SC reprimands Muslim parties for constantly repeating same argument, Rajeev Dhavan apologises for interruptions

Recently, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan representing the Muslim parties had to apologise before the top court after another advocate representing Muslim parties – Meenakshi Arora had questioned the ASI report.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of India lost its patience with the counsel representing parties in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case and reprimanded them, particularly Rajeev Dhavan representing the Muslim parties for constantly repeating their arguments. The Supreme Court also directed all sides to stick to the schedule for completion of arguments in the Ram Mandir case.

According to the reports, the Muslim parties in the Ram Mandir case represented by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan and Meenakshi Arora received the wrath of the apex court after they constantly interrupted the Hindu parties’ counsel senior advocates K Parasaran and C S Vaidyanathan from making any arguments.

The interruptions upset the Supreme Court bench consisting of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, which said, “We are being told the same thing again and again as if there is no application of mind on this side (by the judges). This is no way to argue the case. It is impossible to complete arguments if it continues in this manner.”

Following this, Rajeev Dhavan apologised for interrupting the other side from making any arguments. Rajeev Dhavan had tried to drown Vaidyanathan’s arguments by interrupting through the microphone. An irritated Vaidyanathan countered by increasing his voice, to protest Dhavan’s constant interruptions. As a result, it became difficult to decipher the arguments.

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The Supreme Court bench advised Vaidyanathan to switch off his microphone to help bring back sanity in the proceedings and said, “it is adding to the problem”. Vaidyanathan complied and sanity returned.

Chaos broke out in the Supreme Court in the Ram Mandir case over the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report, which states that there was a massive structure resembling North Indian temples directly beneath the disputed structure. This report has become the bone of contention between Hindu parties, who rely on it and the Muslim parties, who reject it as mere conjecture on part of the archaeologists.

Senior Advocate Vaidyanathan said Hindus had from time immemorial considered the disputed site the birthplace of Lord Ram and had a right over it, even though the mosque over it came into existence just 500 years ago. Refuting Sunni Waqf Board’s argument that an Idgah existed beneath the Babri Masjid, Vaidyanathan said that the claims by Muslim parties were both ridiculous and an attempt to trivialise the importance of the ASI report prepared by experts.

“Muslims had never argued during the trial of title suits before the Allahabad High Court that an Idgah existed beneath the disputed structure. The HC meticulously examined the ASI report including the video recording of the excavation which was carried out in the presence of a large number of persons. Muslim parties gave up their right to cross-examine the archaeologists before the HC. Hence, the ASI report is now admissible evidence and Muslim parties cannot doubt its veracity before the Supreme Court,” said Vaidyanathan.

Recently, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan representing the Muslim parties in the Ram Mandir case had to apologise before the top court after another advocate representing Muslim parties – Meenakshi Arora had questioned the ASI report. The Muslim parties had questioned the credibility of the ASI report and had raised her doubts on the authorship of the Archeological Survey of India’s (ASI) report. She had questioned the credibility of archaeology as a scientific discipline.

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