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Ayodhya verdict: Lawyers slogged without a break, a junior put off her engagement

Nov 10, 2019, 10.38 AM IST
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Highlights

  • Law clerks of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and four other judges hearing the case worked overtime to make it possible for the five-judge bench to deliver the judgment
  • A junior advocate also sacrificed much on her personal front to delve deep into the case
(This story originally appeared in on Nov 10, 2019)
NEW DELHI: Behind the superlative performance of some very famous advocates — K Parasaran, Rajeev Dhavan, C S Vaidyanathan, Ranjit Kumar, Zafrayab Jilani, P S Narasimha, P N Mishra and Ezaj Maqbool — in the Ayodhya land dispute case is the untiring work of a few unsung junior lawyers who put the demands of their profession far above their personal exigencies.

order in nos

For the Hindu parties, there was 50-year-old advocate P V Yogeswaran, who comes from a small village, Uppukottai, in Theni district that is famous for its scenic beauty and cardamom. He completed law in 1994 and started practising in the Supreme Court as a junior to senior advocate S Balakrishnan, and then Lala Ram Gupta.

terms of dispute

He had been working on the Ayodhya case for nine years, ever since appeals were filed in the SC challenging the Allahabad HC’s September 30, 2010 verdict. Yogeswaran, along with advocate Bhakti Vardhan Singh, devoted five hours each day studying the voluminous title suit records. They would then hold briefing sessions that lasted one to two hours with senior advocates Parasaran, Vaidyanathan and Ranjit Kumar.

“I had to virtually abandon all other work in court to focus on the case. Being in this case, I learned what an ordinary advocate like me would have taken a whole life to learn,” he told TOI.

Advocate Akriti Chaubey, advocate Ezaj Maqbool’s junior, sacrificed much on her personal front to delve deep into the case. Chaubey was to get engaged to her boyfriend, a lawyer with Indigo airlines, but arguments before the court, which lasted from August 6 till October 16, were on. Getting engaged would have meant she remained absent from court hearings.

Chaubey decided that her engagement could wait as the case couldn’t. Now she is scheduled to marry in February next year, skipping the ‘roka’ ceremony. She, too, comes from a humble background like Yogeswaran. Chaubey lost her father when she was in class five.

“My mother works with the Delhi government and has been my strongest support,” she said. “For the last two years, I had been working on it without a break, briefing Dhavan sir almost daily since the commencement of arguments,” she added.

It was a common sight in the courtroom: Dhavan and Jilani, arguing for Muslim parties, taking Chaubey’s assistance to locate a relevant extract buried in numerous, fat court records. Another female lawyer, Qurratulain, also played a significant role in helping senior advocates to lucidly present facts and evidence supporting their stand before the court. Many junior advocates like Yogeshwaran and Chaubey worked hard on the case.

Law clerks of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and four other judges hearing the case worked overtime to make it possible for the five-judge bench to deliver the judgment in just 23 days after the court reserved its verdict.

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