Ayodhya Case: Media Slammed for Misreporting Tearing Up Map Incident in SC

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Senior Supreme Court lawyer Rajeev Dhavan who represented Muslims’ side in the Ayodhya land dispute.

Waquar Hasan| Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI – M R Shamshad, a counsel representing a Muslim party in Ayodhya land dispute on Thursday slammed media houses for misreporting the incident of tearing up the pictorial map by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who is representing major Muslim parties in the case, during the court proceedings on Wednesday.

“On the last date of hearing, media reported something completely out of context and projected to the general public at large as if something serious had happened in the Court room. They did not report the fact that an objection was raised to a map being tendered, which was a new document being part of recently published book by an interested party and placing of such documents were not permitted in terms of earlier order on 14.03.2018 when the court did not permit this very same book to be placed on record,” said M R Shamshad, who is the counsel for one of the parties in the case, in a statement.

After Dhavan, who was representing Muslim side, tore up the map provided by All India Hindu Mahasabha (AIHM), the Chief Justice of India has clarified during the proceedings that it was torn up with the permission of the court. But the incident has created hue and cry outside and inside the court which was joined by the mainstream media too.

The map was drawn up by a Hindu party with the help of books purportedly to show the exact birthplace of Lord Ram. In the map, they claimed that the central dome of the now demolished Babri Masjid is the birthplace of deity (Ram Lalla).

However, Dhavan said that the map can’t be relied upon now as the issue of birthplace was discussed in the Allahabad High Court on the basis of other documents. Then, Dhavan asked the court bench hearing the title dispute case as to what he should do with the map. The bench said that he can tear it up.

This incident has been widely reported in the mainstream media but the reports did not include all sides of the stories. They only focused on the incident of tearing up map and criticized Dr Dhavan for the act though it was done with the permission of the Chief Justice.

“The media said that Dr. Dhavan tore up the documents. It is wrong and it should not happen. It did not happen anywhere. Media said all these things,” Shamshad told Caravan Daily explaining the media reports about the incident.

In his statement, he said that there is nothing wrong as it was not unilateral decision of the Dr Dhavan but it was done with permission of the court.

He claimed that this is not the first time when the media is misreporting about the case but “in the past also, many things about Dr. Dhavan has been mis-reported by leading print houses as well as by electronic media”.

Accusing the media of indulging in the incorrect reporting of the courtrooms proceedings, he urged them to report as per the facts related to the issue.

“Media should really report the issue of fact which came up after the promulgation of Constitution of India and those facts are from 1949 till 1992 (which became part of Constitutional democracy of Indian) and shall remain part of the history of Independent India about which the Supreme Court recorded in 1993 that “Indeed, it was an act of “national shame”{1992 demolition},” he said.

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