Arguments conclude; SC bench reserves verdict

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The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) has filed a complaint with the Bar Council of India (BCI) against senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who appeared for Muslim petitioners in the Ayodhya case and tore down papers and maps handed over to him in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The SC bench will most probably pronounce the verdict in the case by November 17 as the CJI will demit his office on that date. The map reportedly shows the spot where the Hindu deity Ram is believed to have been born. Dhavan had then asked the Constitution bench as to what he should do with the map. During the post-lunch session, Dhavan clarified the reason behind his actions. "But the fact is that I wanted to throw the pages away and the CJI said I may tear them". Gogoi agreed that he had indeed said that.

The top court had recently said that it would wrap up hearing in the case on October 17, a day earlier than it was scheduled to. According to an unidentified official, the parties in the case had reached a settlement though its details are confidential and not known.

The top court had earlier this year explored the possibility of mediation to resolve the long-pending dispute amicably.

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The Supreme Court heard a batch of petitions challenging September 30, 2010, Allahabad High Court judgement trifurcating the 2.77 acres of the disputed land at Ayodhya into three equal parts among Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board, and Nirmohi Akhara. Through one of the mediators in the case- Sriram Panchu, Farooqui had informed the Court's five-judge Constitution bench, that he feared for his life. The demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 by the Hindu activists led to a communal riot in the country. Singh sought to present Ayodhya Revisited, a book written by ex-IPS officer Kishore Kunal, which claimed to have evidence that correlated the location of the "Janmasthan" of Lord Ram at the centre of the Babri Masjid. The plea was later withdrawn.

"The mosque was a symbol of slavery as it was built by a Mughal invader Babar by demolishing a holy temple", said Sharad Sharma, spokesman of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, a Hindu nationalist organisation.

Sources close to the mediation panel said the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirvani Akhada, Nirmohi Akhada, Ram Janmabhoomi Punruddhar Samiti and some other Hindu parties are in favour of settling the contentious land dispute.

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