Babri demolition verdict out: All accused including Advani acquitted

30 September, 2020 | Ojasvi Chauhan

MM Joshi, LK Advani National

A special court in Lucknow on Wednesday delivered the much-awaited verdict in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case. Special Judge SK Yadav read the verdict and all 32 accused in the case including...

A special CBI court pronounced its judgement in the Babri Masjid demolition case today. All the 32 accused in the case have been acquitted as the court said that no strong enough pieces of evidence were found against the accused in the case. The verdict further stated that the demolition was not preplanned. The judgement by the court came at around 12.30 p.m.

Taking this into account security was tightened at the court premises, ahead of the hearing in connection with the incident which took place in 1992. There were 49 accused in the case out of which 17 have passed away. Therefore, the court will pronounce its judgement on the rest 32 accused, who have been asked to be physically present in the court. However, owing to COVID-19, senior citizens and those who were unwell among the accused were exempted from personally appearing in the court.

A meeting over the security details for today had been held a day earlier in which it was decided that the accused and their advocates would enter the court premises through gate number 3. However, due to security reasons or for any other reasons, if there is a need to enter the premises through vehicles then gate number 6 can be used.

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The police department has been deputed to look after the arrangements of security in the court premises today. Some of the high-profile personalities in the case include senior BJP leaders such as Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati, Kalyan Singh, among others.

Apart from them, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Champat Rai, and others are also accused. There were two cases registered in connection with the Ram Janmabhoomi temple-Babri Masjid dispute. The first was a title suit, whose judgement was pronounced by the Supreme Court on November 9, 2019, paving way for the construction of the Ram temple at the spot.

Earlier, the Special CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav directed all the 32 accused, including former deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, BJP leaders MM Joshi, Uma Bharti and Vinay Katiar, to remain present in the court on the day of the judgment.

The court had last month rejected pleas of two prosecution witnesses — Hazi Mahmood Ahmad and Sayyed Akhlakh — seeking permission to file written arguments in the Babri Masjid demolition case, holding that they were not victims in the matter.

Notably, the CBI has already filed its 400-page written arguments in connection with the case. The Supreme Court had earlier extended till August 31 the tenure of special CBI Judge SK Yadav and directed him to complete the trial and deliver the judgment in the case by that time. The apex court had later granted another month to special CBI judge SK Yadav to pronounce the judgment in the case.

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