Ayodhya hearing: Conclude arguments by October 18, there won’t be an extra day, says SC

The Supreme Court said that there will be no extra day of the hearing.

The Supreme Court Thursday asked parties in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute case to complete their arguments by October 18, adding that they won’t be given an extra day. Today is the 32nd day of hearing in the case.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, who is heading a five-judge bench, said, "If arguments can’t get over by October 18, there won’t be an extra day." The bench also comprises Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, and S Abdul Nazeer.

Gogoi also pointed out that the bench will only have four weeks to write and deliver the judgment once arguments conclude. "It will be miraculous if the top court can write judgment in the remaining time given the amount of materials parties have given," he said.

In response, the parties said they will try to abide by the timeline.

On Wednesday, senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the Muslim parties, had questioned the authorship of the Archeological Survey of India s (ASI) report the ASI had excavated the disputed site on Allahabad High Court s orders. To this, the bench had said the mosque side should have questioned this during the trial, and not now during appeal.

Arora also disputed the ASI findings on pillar bases and other evidence recovered after digging the site, which the court again said should have been put to the experts during trial.

However, Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who is also representing the Muslim parties, today said, "Yesterday s argument was futile. Authorship can t be questioned. Authenticity not in doubt."

A day after conceding that the Ram Chabutra located on outer yard of the disputed site in Ayodhya was the birthplace of Ram, the Sunni Central Wakf Board on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it had not made any such acceptance, but merely said it had not questioned a Faizabad court s 1886 finding that Hindus worshipped the Chabutra under the belief that it was Ram s birthplace.

What I said was not our acceptance . Since the Faizabad judge said so, we have not taken any steps for eviction, senior advocate Zafaryab Jilani, appearing for the Sunni Board, told a five-judge Constitution bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi hearing the Ayodhya dispute case.