Babri Demolition Case : Special CBI Court to deliver verdict tomorrow

New Delhi: The verdict in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case is set to be pronounced tomorrow by a Special CBI Court at Lucknow.

Special Judge, Mr. Surendra Kumar Yadav, shall pronounce the judgment in the presence of 32 accused persons, including prominent BJP leaders LK Advani, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharati, Murli Manohar Joshi etc.

The Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished in December 1992 by Hindu Kar Sevaks who claimed that the land on which the mosque was built was the birth place of Hindu deity Ram.

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Whereas the long standing land-title dispute was settled by the Supreme Court in November last year, 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.

However, the criminal cases registered under Sections 153A, 153B, 505, 147 and 149 of IPC were pending before the Special Court in lieu of a 2017 order of the Supreme Court, whereby 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 them.

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. Thereafter, the Court extended the deadline for the trial court to complete the trial several times, with the last extension given on August 19, 2020.

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 request for extension made 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.

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