Muslim parties’ stance on Dhavan yet to get clear

Supreme Court. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi:  It’s still not clear whether senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan will lead the Muslim parties, as he did during the 40-day hearing, in their review petition against the November 9 Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya title dispute.

Dhavan on Tuesday morning had gone public, through a Facebook post, on his sacking by Arshad Madani-led faction of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind.

On the other hand, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) confirmed that he would lead the charge in the review against apex court verdict. In the backdrop of this rift within Muslim parties on engaging senior advocate, Dhavan said, “They should unite. I will not take part in differences.”

Madani told IANS that there was a misunderstanding and it had been removed. “He was with us and he will remain with us”, said Madani.

Despite several attempts, Dhavan was not available to comment on whether he will represent Jamiat. The senior advocate has been associated with the Ayodhya title dispute since 1993.

Dhavan had played a leading role in strategising the course of arguments during the daily hearing before a five-judge Bench, headed by then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Apparently, he was heading the core group and often stepped in whenever other counsels on the Muslim side faltered, especially during probing queries on faith. After Supreme Court verdict allocating the disputed land for the Ram temple, the Jamiat and the AIMPLB decided to file independent review on the verdict. Dhavan had settled the draft of the review.

Dhavan had argued for the Muslim parties, including the UP Central Sunni Waqf Board, for more than two weeks before the court. Though the Waqf Board has decided not to file a review petition.

The AIMPLB in a statement praised Dhavan’s contribution to the case and listed the names of the team of lawyers drafting the review, which will be settled by Dhavan. Advocate Ejaz Maqbool, who represents Jamiat, was not available for comments despite several attempts.

During the hearing, Dhavan had crafted a skilful argument against referring Lord Ram’s birthplace as a juristic entity, having legal rights. The apex court in its verdict said the birthplace was not a juristic entity.