Today, Mr. Raju Ramchandran appearing for the Wakf Board started the 7th day of arguments in the Ayodhya Title dispute. He began by requesting the bench to refer the case to a 5 judge bench. He emphasised on the special nature of the case and urged that it must be looked by a constitutional bench. He said that it cannot be seen as a simple ‘title dispute’ case.
Mr. Harish Salve, representing the respondents argued that the case should be decided as a ‘title’ dispute which can be decided by this 3 judge bench. He said that court should not factor in the politics and religious sensitivities and hear it like a normal title dispute. He said that there is no larger ‘constitutional question’ which merits referral to a constitutional bench.
Mr. K. Parasaran echoed Mr. Salve’s argument to say that time of the court is important and the hearing should continue under the present 3 judge bench. He said that the case involves admissibility of evidence which can best be done by a 3 judge bench. He referred to the long-standing nature of dispute going back to 1858 and it should be decided expediently without any delaying tactics. Mr. Ramchandran responded that referring the case as a title dispute is akin to living in denial. This case goes at the heart of our constitutional ethos and must be decided by a constitutional bench.
The matter has been posted to be heard on 15th May 2018.
(This post relies on inputs from Ms. Ashrutha Rai)