Babri verdict on September 30; Advani, Joshi to be present
A special CBI court will, on September 30, pronounce the verdict in the over two-decades-old case, concerning the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992, which sparked widespread riots in India. All 32 accused, including BJP stalwarts LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, were asked to be present during the verdict. BJP's Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh are also named as accused.
Context: Demolition of Babri Masjid led to two cases
On December 6, 1992, hundreds of "kar sewaks" arrived at Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya, razing down the mosque, which they believed was built on ruins of a temple where Lord Rama took human form. Thereafter, two cases — one pertaining to the conspiracy for the mosque's demolition and another related to instigating right-wing activists — were filed. Out of 49 who were booked, 17 died.
Supreme Court combined the two cases, CBI took over probe
The trial for the case linked to conspiracy happened in a Lucknow court, and the one involving instigation was being heard in Raebareli. On April 19, 2017, the Supreme Court combined the two cases, formed a special court in Lucknow, and directed it to conclude the matter soon. Earlier, the top court had set a deadline of August 31 to wrap up the proceedings.
Later, special judge filed a report, SC gave an extension
Reportedly, Special Judge Surendra Kumar Yadav had filed a report, apprising about the proceedings in the high-profile case. On August 19, the bench of Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha, and Indira Banerjee said, "Considering that the proceedings are at the fag end, we grant one month's time, i.e., till September 30, 2020, to complete the proceedings including the delivery of judgment."
Accused were questioned; Advani denied all charges
As a part of the trial, the statements of all accused were recorded under CrPC Section 313. On September 1, the defense submitted written arguments. A week prior to that, the prosecution had also submitted its arguments. In July, ex-Deputy Prime Minister Advani was inundated with over 100 questions, but he has denied all accusations. The court had conducted daily hearings in this case.
Earlier, Bharti said she doesn't fear going to the gallows
During the course of the trial, CBI has produced nearly 351 witnesses and 600 documentary evidence. The agency's counsel Lalit Singh told PTI that after the defense and prosecution concluded arguments on September 1, the judge began writing the verdict. Meanwhile, when asked about the serious allegations against her, Bharti said she won't be affected, even if she is sent to the gallows.
After SC's historic judgement, foundation for Ram Temple was laid
Notably, another case linked to the demolition — the Ayodhya land dispute — reached its climax last year, when a constitutional bench of SC handed over the entire 2.77 acre of land for the temple's construction. On August 5, a grand bhoomi pujan ceremony happened in the temple town, where Advani's junior in BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, laid the foundation stone.