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War of words between lawyers in SC during Ayodhya land dispute hearing

Sr Adv Rajeev Dhavan asks ASG Maninder Singh to "sit down" and "not talk nonsense"

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Supreme Court
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

The hearing in the sensitive Babri Masjid-Ram Temple land dispute case on Friday saw a heated exchange of words in the between and two (ASGs) -- and

As soon as the special bench headed by assembled at 2 PM to hear the case, the spat began apparently on a trivial issue after ASG Singh asked Dhavan, who was standing to start advancing arguments, to move a bit.

"Sit down, Mr Sit down," Dhavan said at top of his voice, leading the ASG to retort by saying "behave yourself, Mr Dhavan".

"Don't talk nonsense," Dhavan said.

"You are talking nonsense," ASG Singh retorted, adding that he was extending regard to him (Dhavan) due to his seniority.

ASG Mehta then came in support of his colleague and said, "There are people who are arrogant. With due respect to the learned senior (Dhavan), he seems to have undergone a course in it."

"Why are they sitting next to me and murmuring away and murmuring away", Dhavan told the bench, apparently complaining about the

"Why are you standing near us? There is enough space there," Mehta told Dhavan.

They (ASGs) came and said that they are the law officers, he said and then referred to his past experience when noted jurist Nani Palkhivala had vacated the for the to argue the case.

The bench, also comprising justices and S A Nazeer, said that lawyers are supposed to vacate seats for the for litigants.

As the hearing progressed, Dhavan made some uncharitable comments against former and senior advocate K Parasaran, appearing for a Hindu group, who opposed his (Dhavan's) submission that the case be referred to the larger bench.

"I am not indulging in theatrics and drama like Mr He suddenly gets up and says things," Dhavan said and also used the word 'rubbish'.

C S Vaidyanathan and ASG Mehta took strong objection to the language used by Dhavan against and said now a tendency has emerged among some lawyers to browbeat the institution and they are trying to "vitiate the atmosphere".

"What kind of language is being used," Vaidyanathan asked and added that it seemed that Dhavan did not want to argue the case.

The bench also reminded Dhavan that was the former of

The and some other lawyers took strong note of Dhavan's other submission that the nation wanted to know as to why the apex court referred the polygamy issue to the larger bench and not doing the same with the case.

"What kind of argument is this? How can he make such an argument? That (polygamy) was the separate case," Vaidyanathan said.

Dhavan would resume advancing arguments in the case on April 27.

First Published: Fri, April 06 2018. 23:38 IST