Babri demolition case: SC tells CBI court to finish trial against LK Advani, others by Aug 31
The Supreme Court on Friday extended the deadline for the judgment of trial in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case till August 31. A top court bench comprising of RF Nariman and Surya Kant asked the CBI trial court judge, SK Yadav, to ensure that trial is completed within the new deadline and the time-frame is not breached. In this process, the SC also suggested the special judge make use of video conference facilities to complete the trial proceedings due to restrictions amid the Coronavirus lockdown.
This development has come days after the judge Yadav had written to the Apex Court seeking more time for completing the case, arguing that recording to evidence related to the case was still under process. Earlier in July 2019, the top court had told the special CBI court to deliver the verdict in the case within nine months, the date of which was on April 30.
Notably, senior leaders of the ruling BJP party LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are parties in the case, accused of criminal conspiracy, along with the current VP of the party Uma Bharti. It was in April 2017 when the Supreme Court allowed the CBI in Lucknow to frame charges for criminal conspiracy against the BJP leaders among 20 others named in the case. Three other high-profile accused Giriraj Kishore, and VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) leader Ashok Singhal and Vishnu Hari Dalmia died during trial after which proceedings against them were removed.
What is the Babri Masjid demolition case?
In April 2017, the Top Court restored conspiracy charges against the accused named in the FIR 198/92 and clubbed it with the FIR 197 against lakhs of unknown karsevaks booked for the demolition of the Babri Masjid. It transferred the demolition case against BJP/VHP leaders going on in Rae Bareli court to the Lucknow CBI court. The SC asked the CBI court to frame charges against the accused. It further ordered the court for a day-to-day trial, mandating the completion of the high-profile case within two years. In May 2017, the CBI court framed charges against several VVIPs accused in the Babri Masjid Demolition case includingBJP leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi, and Uma Bharti.
1992 demolition of Babri Masjid
On December 6, 1992, the 16th century-old Babri Masjid was demolished by thousands of ‘karsevaks’ at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi area. As per reports, the rally – allegedly organized by the leaders of BJP & VHP – triggered communal violence across the country, resulting in the death of hundreds of people.
In a related Ayodhya title dispute, the Supreme Court delivered a historic verdict on November 9, 2019, granting the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land to Hindus for the construction of Ram temple under the check of a central government-monitored trust. Furthermore, The top court instructed the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government to allot 5 acres of land in Ayodhya to the Muslims for the construction of a mosque.