Babri demolition case: Accused may seek exemption from appearance in court
Some senior political leaders, who are among the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, may seek exemption from personal appearance when a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court announces its verdict on Wednesday.
The law says all accused persons have to be physically present in the court on the day of verdict.
But some of the 32 accused – including senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi -- may ask the court to allow them to appear via video conference, citing their advanced age and the coronavirus pandemic, their lawyer KK Mishra said.
“I will inform the court about the status of my clients on Wednesday. I have informed Advani, Joshi and my other clients about the judgment day. Whether they will appear before the court or not will be clear on that day itself,” said lawyer KK Mishra. Mishra is representing 25 of 32 accused in the case, including Advani, Joshi and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh.
During the hearing of the case, the court had permitted Advani, Joshi and several others to record their statements through video conference.
Two other accused -- Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirath Kshetra Trust chairman Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and Shiv Sena leader Satish Pradhan -- have also expressed their inability to appear before the court on Wednesday.
Former union minister Uma Bharti, another accused, announced on Monday that she was admitted to AIIMS Rishikesh after she tested positive for Covid-19. “If I get a positive nod from the AIIMS after tests, then I would like to appear in the CBI court of Lucknow the day after tomorrow,” she tweeted on Monday.
Former chief minister Singh is undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at a private hospital in Ghaziabad.