Senior Supreme Court advocate Rajeev Dhavan has defended his decision to tear the documents and maps submitted by the All India Hindu Mahasabha saying that Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had allowed him to do so. Dhavan said that he ‘wanted to throw the pages away’ but CJI Gogoi told him that he could tear them. “And I tore them, so I’d say it was with the permission of court,” Indian Express quoted Dhavan as saying.
CJI Gogoi agreed with him stating that he indeed had allowed Dhavan to tear the pages. To which Justice SA Nazeer commented, “It’s widely reported.”
Dhavan, who is representing Muslim petitioners including the Sunni Waqf Board, said that the Babri Masjid should be restored at the site where it stood before its demolition on 6 December 1992. He said, “We seek restoration of Babri Masjid as it stood on December 5, 1992. The demolished building belonged to us. The right to reconstruct it also belongs to us. Nobody else has the right.”
This came amidst rumours that the Sunni Waqf Board had decided to withdraw its claim on the land where the Babri Masjid stood untianl 6 December 1992.
Dhavan also said that Islam was ‘an extremely attractive faith for people living in a caste-ridden society.’
Meanwhile, the News Broadcasting Standards Authority has issued an advisory to all TV channels for the coverage on the Ayodhya verdict. It asked TV channels to avoid speculating on the court proceedings while reporting only facts. It said that channels must not use the visuals of the mosque demolition on 6 December 1992. The advisory also said that the TV channels should not broadcast any celebrations post the Supreme Court verdict. TV channels have also been told to ‘ensure no extreme views are aired in debates.’
It’s not clear whether TV channels will pay heed to the NBSA’s guidelines.
The Supreme Court concluded its day-to-day hearing on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi dispute case today. Many expect that the five-judge Bench will pass an order before CJI Gogoi retires on 17 November next month.