New Delhi: The Special CBI Court at Lucknow will deliver on September 30 the verdict in the criminal case related to the conspiracy behind the demolition of the Babri Masjid mosque in 1992.
Prominent BJP leaders L K Advani, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharati, Murli Manohar Joshi etc., are the accused in the case.
The Special Judge, Mr. Surendra Kumar Yadav, has asked the accused persons to be present in court on September 30 for the pronouncement of judgment.
The Supreme Court had extended the deadline for the trial court to complete the trial several times, with the last extension given on August 19, 2020.
On April 19, 2017, the Supreme Court Bench of Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman had restored the conspiracy charges against the accused by allowing an appeal filed by the CBI against the discharge given by the Allahabad High Court to the accused.
Invoking its extraordinary constitutional powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, the bench also transferred the pending separate trial in a Rae Bareilly Magistrate court and clubbed it with criminal proceedings in the Lucknow CBI Court.
The top court had further ordered day-to-day trial to be concluded in two years in the case.
On July 19, 2019, a bench headed by Justice R F Nariman had directed the Trial Court to complete the recording of evidence within six months and deliver judgment within nine months.
The Court had also directed the UP Government to issue administrative orders to extend the tenure of the Special Judge of CBI Court, Lucknow till the delivery of judgment. The judge was otherwise due to retire on September 30, 2019.
Later, on May 8, 2020, a Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justices Nariman and Surya Kant had extended the deadline for Special CBI Court, Lucknow to deliver its judgment in the case by August 31, 2020 after considering a similar request by the Special Judge.
On July 24 this year, the Trial Court recorded the statement of Advani via video conferencing.
Pleading innocence, the 92-year old former Deputy Prime Minister denied his involvement in the alleged conspiracy along with ‘Kar sevaks’ to demolish the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. He pleaded he was completely innocent and was unnecessarily dragged in the case owing to political reasons.
The civil case pertaining to Ayodhya-Babri Masjid dispute attained finality on November 8, 2019, when a 5-judge bench directed that the entire disputed land of 2.77 acres in Ayodhya must be handed over for the construction of Ram Mandir.
The Top Court had held that an alternate plot of 5 acres must be allotted to the Sunni Waqf Board for the construction of a mosque. This direction was passed invoking powers under Article 142 of the Constitution.
The Court had then observed that the destruction of Babri Masjid in 1992 was a violation of law.
he act of placing idols beneath the central dome of the mosque in 1949 was an act of “desecration”, observed the Constitution Bench comprising of then CJI Ranjan Gogoi along with Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer.