The daily hearings in the decades-old temple-mosque dispute in Ayodhya came to an end at the Supreme Court this afternoon after 40 days. The verdict in the case - which has dominated politics and the headlines for decades - is expected to come before November 17, when Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who is leading the five-judge constitution bench hearing the case, is slated to retire.
The judges had been sticking to a strict timeline after attempts to sort out the case through mediation failed. Over the last weeks, they have extended the timing of the hearings and rebuked the advocates for spinning it out.
This morning, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, declaring "Enough is enough" after a lawyer asked the top court for more time for arguments, said they would finish the hearing by 5 pm. Justice Gogoi had earlier expressed concern that in the current schedule, there would hardly be time to write the judgment.
On the last day of the hearing, there were dramatic moments as a senior lawyer tore up a map and relentless interruptions infuriated the judges.
Rajeev Dhavan, representing Muslim petitioners including the Sunni Waqf Board in the title suit, tore up a pictorial map showing the Ram Janmasthan after asking the court's permission. He said the map, forwarded by the Hindu petitioners, could not be submitted as evidence since the court had earlier refused to accept it.
Following the commotion it caused and interruptions from both sides, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi threatened to walk out.
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