Advani denies all charges in Babri masjid demolition case
The Babri mosque demolition trial is currently at the stage of the recording of statements of the accused under Section 313 of CrPC.Updated: Jul 25, 2020 08:10 IST
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani, 92, on Friday denied all charges against him in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case and blamed the then Union government of fabricating them against him.
Advani appeared before the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court hearing the case to record his statements via video conferencing from his residence in New Delhi. His lawyer, KK Mishra, represented Advani in the CBI court in Lucknow.
“LK Advani answered around 100 questions during court proceedings. He denied all allegations against him in the Babri Masjid demolition case and held the then Central government responsible for fabricated charges against him,” said Mishra.
The Babri mosque demolition trial is currently at the stage of the recording of statements of the accused under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), during which the accused get an opportunity to refute the prosecution evidence against them.
With Advani’s statement, the CBI court completed the recording of statements of all 32 accused in the demolition case, except Shiv Sena leader Satish Pradhan, who has tested positive for Covid-19 and is under quarantine in Mumbai.
The court has fixed July 28 for Pradhan to record his statement online.
Another accused, Om Prakash Pandey of Uttarakhand, has been absconding for 16 years and the CBI court has issued orders to seize his property.
All the accused have denied charges against them.
Another senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, 86, appeared before the court.
The Babri mosque was brought down by on December 6, 1992 by “kar sevaks” who believed it was built on the birthplace of Hindu God Ram. The decades-old dispute was settled last year when the Supreme Court ordered that the site be given to a trust to build a temple. The court also ordered that alternative land be provided in Ayodhya for a mosque. Advani, Joshi, and others have been accused of being involved in the conspiracy to demolish the mosque.
The temple’s foundation-stone laying is expected to be held in the first week of August with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in attendance. Advani, too, is expected to attend the event.
In April 2017, the Supreme Court ordered the special court to conduct a day-to-day trial of the demolition case and to conclude it in two years. The deadline expired on April 19. The Supreme Court on May 8 issued a new deadline of August 31 with instructions to deliver the judgment by then.