Muslims can worship in any mosque but Hindus can't change the birthplace of Lord Ram, senior advocate K Parasaran told the Supreme Court today, as daily hearings in the political sensitive Ram Janmbhoomi - Babri Masjid land dispute headed into its 39th day. "There are 55-60 mosques in Ayodhya alone. But for Hindus, it is the birth place of Lord Ram...we can't change the birthplace," K Parasaran told the top court, insisting that the construction of a mosque at the site was a "historic wrong" that needed to be righted.
K Parasaran, appearing for 'Ram Lalla Virajman', one of the parties in the dispute, said Hindus had been fighting for centuries for the place believed to be the birthplace of Ram.
The five-judge Constitution bench, which is headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, then proceeded to closely question Mr Parasaran on various technicalities, including the law of limitation and doctrine of adverse possession.
At the conclusion of its questioning, the Chief Justice turned to Rajeev Dhavan, who is representing the Muslim petitioners, and, in a lighter tone, asked him if he was satisfied with the court's queries.
"Mr Dhavan, are we asking sufficient number of questions to the Hindu parties now?" the Chief Justice asked, according to a report by news agency ANI, adding, "We are saying this on a lighter note. Not everything has to be taken seriously. Today is 39th day".
The Chief Justice's remark was in reference to a statement by Mr Dhavan on Monday, when he told the court that it seemed to be directing all its questions to the Muslim parties.
Meanwhile, Mr Parasaran's remark on the number of mosques in Ayodhya drew a sharp retort from Mr Dhavan. In his response to the argument, he asked Mr Parasaran how many temples there were in Ayodhya.
Mr Parasaran refused to answer the question and would only say that he submitted the argument to explain the significance of the birthplace of Lord Rama.
Wednesday is likely to be the last day for daily hearings, according to the Chief Justice of India.
In Monday's hearing, held after the court adjourned for a week-long Dussehra break, the judges heard from Muslim respondents who said there was no claim for the title in the Ayodhya land by the Hindus until 1989.
The Supreme Court began daily hearings in the case on August 6, after mediation proceedings failed to find an amicable solution to the dispute.
On Sunday, the Uttar Pradesh government imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 in anticipation of verdict in Ayodhya land case.
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the top court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
The dispute involves 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya, which right-wing activists believe was the birthplace of the Lord Ram. A 16th Century mosque - said to have been built by the Mughal Emperor Babur -- which stood at the spot was razed in December 1992 by right-wing activists who believed that a temple had to make way for it. The destruction of the mosque sparked communal riots in the country.
With input from ANI, PTI