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Storm over Babri report

The contents of the 396-page submissions made by the UPA regime to the Liberhan Commission probing the Babri masjid demolition has generated political and legal controversies, and raised questions about the utility of the government?s submissions.

india Updated: May 04, 2006 02:29 IST
Anil Anand

The contents of the 396-page submissions made by the UPA regime to the Liberhan Commission probing the Babri masjid demolition has generated political and legal controversies, and raised questions about the utility of the government’s submissions. The Centre has reportedly glossed over various issues crucial to the probe.

Last year, when former UP CM Kalyan Singh, a key witness, had suddenly decided to appear before the panel, it was felt the government's submissions would throw light on some fresh findings. But instead of providing answers to vital aspects of the case, the submissions have only raised more questions. There is nothing on the non-issuance of firing orders to prevent the demolition.

The document also lacks the government's perspective on Centre-state relations and issues connected to Article 356, even though former PM P.V. Narsimharao's deposition was based on these subjects. He’d said the Centre couldn’t have sent security forces without the state’s request.

Legal experts felt that after Kalyan's deposition and his 450-page evidence, the Centre would get an opportunity to address the issue afresh. But for inexplicable reasons, it did not. Instead, in its final submission on April 19, it accused the Sangh Parivar and Shiv Sena of having “collaborated and connived” in the demolition of the disputed structure while remaining silent on other key aspects of the controversy.

Significantly, while the counsels of L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi and Kalyan opposed the submissions made at this juncture, I.B. Singh, counsel for the then Faizabad SSP and DM, pleaded that the commission should accept the submissions.

Meanwhile, the panel has fixed May 10 to consider the Centre's plea for condoning the delay in filing the submission and the BJP's objections to accepting it.

The BJP has termed it “politically motivated” and questioned the justification of such an exercise at the fag end of the enquiry and that too when the NDA regime has already made the submissions.

First Published: May 04, 2006 02:29 IST