Babri mosque demolition case in last leg, CBI told to file written reply
A special CBI court in Lucknow that completed the recording of statements of the accused in the 1992 Babri mosque demolition case last month has asked the premier investigation agency to file its reply by August 21.Updated: Aug 19, 2020, 15:04 IST
The trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case is set to enter its last stage after the Central Bureau of Investigation was asked to submit its written reply in the case by Friday.
A special CBI court in Lucknow that completed the recording of statements of all the 32 accused in the 1992 Babri mosque demolition case last month, including senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharti, among others, has asked the premier investigation agency to file its reply by August 21.
The CBI had to file its reply on Tuesday, but its lawyers sought two more days’ time.
“The court has ordered the CBI to file its written reply in the Babri Masjid demolition case by Friday (August 21). The central agency had to file its reply on Tuesday but could not do so,” said lawyer Manish Tripathi, who is representing BJP MP from Kaisrganj parliamentary seat in Bahraich district, Brij Bhushan Saran Singh. He is one of the 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
The trial in the Lucknow court is going on in regard to the demolition of the disputed structure in 1992 in pursuance of the two FIRs lodged with the Ayodhya Police.
The Supreme Court on July 19 last year had extended by six months the time frame for completing the criminal trial in Ayodhya case and also set a deadline of nine months for the final order. The deadline expired on April 19 this year and the special judge wrote to the apex court on May 6, seeking an extension.
The Supreme Court on May 8 issued a new deadline of August 31 with instructions to deliver the judgment by then.
However, legal experts are of the opinion that the CBI court will need further extension of about two months to deliver judgment in the case.
“Legal documents in the case run into several thousand pages. It is no easy job to document all proceedings in the case. I think the CBI court will need another extension to deliver its judgment,” said lawyer KK Mishra, who is representing senior BJP leader LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, among others, in the CBI court.
On April 19, 2017, the Supreme Court had ordered the special judge to conduct a day-to-day trial, concluding it in two years.
Calling the demolition of the disputed structure a crime which shook the “secular fabric of the Constitution”, it allowed the CBI plea for restoration of criminal conspiracy charge against the VIP accused.
The court had termed the Allahabad high court’s February 12, 2001, verdict dropping conspiracy charges against Advani and others as “erroneous”.
Before the 2017 verdict of the apex court, there were two sets of cases relating to the demolition, going on in Lucknow and Rae Bareli.
The first case allegedly involving unnamed “kar sevaks” proceeded in a Lucknow court and the second set of cases relating to eight VIPs was being heard in a Rae Bareli court. In April 2017, the Supreme Court transferred the Rae Bareli case to the Special CBI court in Lucknow.