Babri Masjid demolition case: Special CBI court verdict on September 30, all accused including Advani, Joshi asked to be present

MM Joshi and LK Advani are accused in the Babri masjid demolition case.

A special CBI court in Uttar Pradesh will deliver its verdict in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case on September 30. The verdict will be pronounced by special CBI judge SK Yadav.

The court has directed all the accused to remain present in the court on that day for hearing the judgment. Senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Kalyan Singh, MM Joshi, Uma Bharti, and Vinay Katiar are among 32 accused who have been asked to remain present in the court when the judgment is delivered.

The date was fixed on the direction of the Supreme Court that had asked for the delivery of the judgment by September 30.

The special CBI court was asked by the Supreme Court to complete the trial and deliver its verdict by September 30. The top court had earlier given time till August 31 to the trial court in Lucknow to deliver its verdict. It extended the deadline by a month after special judge SK Yadav filed a report in the court in the high-profile case.

The Supreme Court had directed the trial court in April 2017 to conduct day-to-day hearings and complete the trial in two years.

The court completed the recording of statements of the accused last month.

The Babri mosque in Ayodhya was demolished on December 6, 1992 by ‘kar sevaks’ who claimed that an ancient Ram temple stood at the same site.

Former deputy prime minister LK Advani and BJP veteran MM Joshi, who were among those leading the Ram temple movement at that time, had deposed through video conferencing. The court has also recorded statements of BJP stalwarts like Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharti, both of whom appeared in person.

CBI counsel Lalit Singh said that arguments of the defence and prosecution concluded on September 1 and thereafter the special judge started writing the judgment. The CBI has produced 351 witnesses and about 600 documentary evidence before the court.

Last year, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court had ruled that the 2.77 acre land claimed by both Hindus and Muslims would be handed over to a government-run trust for the building of a temple. The court had also announced allocation of a five-acre plot at another site in Ayodhya to build a mosque.

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