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Babri Masjid case: SC raps lawyers seeking more time to argue


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday rapped the lawyers demanding more time to wrap up their arguments in the Babri Masjid land title dispute.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who heads the five-member Constitution bench hearing the matter, said: "Do you want us to finish the hearing on time or not?"

His sharp comment came as lawyers expressed discontent over the time allocation to argue their respective suits.

At this, the Chief Justice, who retires in mid-November, reiterated that the bench needs sufficient time to write the verdict, and refused to hear senior advocate P.N. Mishra who appeared for one of the Hindu parties.

"Where were you?", Chief Justice Gogoi asked Mishra, who was supposed to argue on the concept of Islam.

The court also gave one hour to senior advocate Sushil Jain, counsel for the Nirmohi Akhara, to argue his matter before the court. For counsel appearing for Ram Lalla Virajman, the top court has allocated nearly three days to argue their matter.

"Rajeev Dhavan, (who is representing the Muslim side) will begin arguments on his suit on Friday," the Chief Justice said.

The court is following a very tight schedule to finish all arguments before October 18, and has already refused to extend the date of the arguments.

With the hearing was extended for an hour on Monday, the Chief Justice also told the counsel that if required, the hearing could possibly take place on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, counsel for Ram Lalla Virajman informed the Supreme Court it is not participating in the mediation process in the Ayodhya title dispute.

On September 18, during the ongoing hearing in the matter, the apex court had referred to a letter by former Supreme Court judge Justice FMI Kalifullah-led mediation panel where parties involved in the matter were seeking to begin mediation, which was called off after it failed to resolve the matter amicably after engaging stakeholders.

The apex court began the daily hearing on the matter on August 6.

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