Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who represented Muslim parties in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case, on Tuesday said he has been sacked from further appearance and is no longer involved in the plea for a review of the Supreme Court verdict.
A five-judge Constitution bench of the apex court on November 9 in a unanimous 5-0 verdict paved the way for the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board at a prominent place in the holy town for building a mosque.
Dhavan took to Facebook to disclose that he has been removed from further participation in the Ayodhya case on the 'nonsensical' ground that he is unwell.
'Just been sacked from the Babri case by AOR (Advocate on Record) Ejaz Maqbool who was representing the Jamiat. Have sent formal letter accepting the 'sacking' without demur. No longer involved in the review or the case,' he wrote.
'I have been informed that Mr Madani has indicated that I was removed from the case because I was unwell. This is total nonsense.
'He has a right to instruct his lawyer AOR Ejaz Maqbool to sack me which he did on instructions. But the reason being floated is malicious and untrue,' Dhavan added on the social networking site.
Arshad Madani is the All India president of the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind.
A plea seeking review of the Ayodhya verdict was filed in the apex court on Monday by Maulana Syed Ashhad Rashidi, legal heir of original litigant M Siddiq and also the Uttar Pradesh president of the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind.
It stated that 'complete justice' could only be done by ordering reconstruction of the Babri Masjid.
The mosque was demolished on December 6, 1992 by kar sewaks triggering communal riots.
As Dhavan later said he didn't want to divide the Muslim parties, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said it was hopeful that the veteran lawyer will represent the body when it files a review petition.
In a tweet, AIMPLB spokesman Khalid Saifullah Rahmani said, 'Rajeev Dhavan has always been a symbol of justice and unity. @AIMPLB_Official will continue its efforts in the Supreme Court under his esteemed leadership.'
The AIMPLB has asserted that 99 per cent of Muslims in the country want a review of the Ayodhya verdict.
In another tweet, Maulana Umrain, an office bearer of the Board said, 'We are indebted to the senior advocate Mr. Rajeev Dhavan for his sincere exceptional and incomparable effort in the #babrimasjidcase. We hope that he would represent us again when the review petition is filed.'
The board's general secretary Md Wali Rahmani in a statement said a team of senior advocates and advocates on record is busy in drafting the review petition which will then be settled by Dhawan.
"I have argued the case for all the Muslim parties in a united manner and would like the same way. The Muslim parties should sort out their differences first," Dhavan told PTI.
He said he expressed his opinion on Facebook only after Ejaz Maqbool went public about him being sacked because he is unwell.
"If I am unwell, then how come I am appearing in courts in other cases," Dhavan said.
"I am committed to the cause and to the Muslim parties but making such a statement is completely wrong," he added.
In a separate December 2 letter addressed to Maqbool, the AOR in the review petition, Dhavan narrated the sequence of events related to drafting of the review plea in the case.
"As promised, I am responding to your call at 10.14 am today when I was at the doctors, informing me that I have been sacked from further involvement in the Babri case on behalf of your client.
We were in agreement that the correct term was 'sacked' and you explained you had no choice in the matter. With humility and respect and the norms of my profession, I accept the sacking without demur," Dhavan said in his letter.