Had no plans to absolve Advani: Justice Liberhan
Justice MS Liberhan on Saturday denied allegations that the commission headed by him — which probed the reasons for the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya 17 years ago — wanted to absolve BJP leader LK Advani of all blame since the beginning, reports Nagendar Sharma.india Updated: Jul 05, 2009 01:22 IST
Justice MS Liberhan on Saturday denied allegations that the commission headed by him — which probed the reasons for the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya 17 years ago — wanted to absolve BJP leader L.K. Advani of all blame since the beginning.
Hindustan Times contacted Liberhan following a revelation by advocate Anupam Gupta, the commission counsel between 1999 and 2007 that the judge was not even in favour of issuing summons to Advani for appearing before the commission.
“Any counsel is free in a democracy to say anything. The counsel is also free to speak complete lies that have no basis,” Liberhan said in response. “I have submitted the report, which is now the privilege of the parliament and I will not engage in a public debate.”
Gupta had quit the commission after seven years, following serious differences with Justice Liberhan. He had questioned high profile witnesses including Advani and former prime minister, late P.V. Narasimha Rao.
“For all his (Liberhan) disclaimers and denials, it was clear to me that he wanted to extricate Advani from the imbroglio of the demolition,” Gupta said.
He revealed Justice Liberhan wanted him to apologise to Advani for having asked him inconvenient questions. “I refused and told him I would rather resign.”
“In fact a rough draft of the report he once showed to me on my insistence virtually complimented Advani at several places,” the senior lawyer said.
Liberhan had submitted his four-volume report, understood to be running into 1,000 pages, to the prime minister on June 30.
It took him 17 years to submit his probe report on the demolition of the 16th century mosque. Justice Liberhan examined 100 witnesses, conducted 399 sittings and his report cost the country more than Rs 8 crore.