CBI drops 10 witnesses lined up against former CM Kalyan Singh

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation has dismissed nearly ten witnesses including the assistant and chief investigating officers of the case.

These officers will have to testify the precision of the statements of witnesses, who had deposed against Singh over his involvement in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

The chief investigating officer of the CBI had constituted a team of investigating officers to probe the case and record testimonies of the witnesses. The assistant investigating officers, supervised by the chief investigating officer, had recorded the statements.

The deposition of the CBI’s witnesses is likely to be completed by the winter break of the court.

Of the 348 witnesses examined so far in the Babri Masjid demolition trial, one had turned partially hostile, said the people cited before.

CBI had produced half a dozen witnesses to substantiate its charges against Singh. Among these included a junior-level officer of the local intelligence unit of Uttar Pradesh, who had submitted a report of Singh’s public speech delivered on May 5, 1993, in Phool Bagh, Kanpur.

The report alleged that Singh had made inflammatory remarks welcoming the December 6, 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid by the Karsevaks in Ayodhya.

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He was cross-examined by the defense last week and he stood his ground, said people in the know.

On April 19, 2017, the apex court had ordered a day-to-day trial of the case, to be concluded in two years.

While dubbing the demolition of the medieval era monument as a “crime” which shook the “secular fabric of the Constitution”, the top court had allowed the CBI’s plea on restoration of criminal conspiracy charges against the VVIP accused. It had termed the Allahabad High Court’s February 12, 2001 verdict dropping conspiracy charge against Advani and others as “erroneous”. The Supreme Court, on July 19 this year, extended the tenure of the special CBI judge, who was set to retire on September 30, till the completion of trial and delivery of the verdict. The judge was also asked to deliver the verdict within nine months.

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