New Delhi: After a 40-day-long hearing on the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case in Ayodhya, the Supreme Court on Wednesday concluded arguments on both ends, reserving the judgment.

After the conclusion, the apex court asked petitioners of the Hindu and Muslim sides to submit their written notes within three days, following which it said it will announce the verdict in 23 days.

The five-judge bench of the Supreme Court who were hearing the Ayodhya case will also sit in the chambers on Thursday to discuss the matter.

Heated arguments were witnessed between the Hindu and Muslim petitioners throughout the day on Wednesday. While in the first half, the Hindu side demanded the top court to correct the historical mistake of building a mosque in the land where Lord Ram was born, the second half of the hearing witnessed a violent reaction from the Muslim side.

High drama erupted in the courtroom on the final day of the hearings in the Ayodhya dispute case after senior lawyer, representing Muslim petitioners, Rajeev Dhawan tore down a pictorial map from a book showing Ram Janmasthan (the birthplace of Lord Ram). Defending the act, Dhawan had said, “The CJI said I could shred the papers and I just followed the order.”

The daily-hearings on Ayodhya case became the second-longest hearing in the history of the Supreme Court after the landmark 68-day-long hearing of the Keshavananda Bharati case. Meanwhile, the Aadhaar proceedings had continued for 38 days. Interestingly, the arguments ended an hour prior to the scheduled time of 5 PM fixed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Expressing his anguish over the angered act of tearing papers, CJI Gogoi had said, ‘enough is enough,’ asserting that the matter was going to be finished by 5 PM. “Decorum has been spoiled… If proceedings continue in this manner, we would just get up and walk out,” the CJI had said.

A five-judge bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, began the daily hearings in the Ayodhya case on August 6 this year.

The top court had earlier set October 18 as the deadline to conclude arguments in the case. However, the date was later revised to October 17 on the CJI’s orders to the bench to conclude all arguments by Wednesday instead of Thursday.

The top court further said that the hearing will be extended till 5 PM Wednesday, in order to give sufficient time to all parties for making final submissions and rejoinders.

Notably, CJI Ranjan Gogoi is set to resign on November 17, before which he is expected to announce his verdict in the matter.