Aspecial CBI court is set to pronounce much-awaited judgment in the Babri Masjid demolition case on September 30 in which senior leaders from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Centre and Uttar Pradesh namely, L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh stand accused.
Surendra Kumar Yadav, the Special Judge, has asked all the accused persons to remain present in the court on the day of the judgment.
While the Ayodhya title dispute was settled by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court in November 2019, the criminal case against BJP, RSS, VHP leaders and karsevaks for demolishing the mosque on 6 December 1992 was being heard by the Special CBI Court.
The Supreme Court on August 19 directed the Special Judge, CBI Court to conclude the proceedings and deliver the judgment latest by September 30.
The BJP leaders are facing trial for the 1992 demolition of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. They have been charged for various offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including promoting enmity between religious groups (section 153A), making statements affecting national integration (section 153B) or which are likely to cause public mischief (section 505).
On April 19, 2017, the apex court by invoking its inherent powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India had directed the sessions court to complete the trial and deliver its judgment within a period of two years. However, the trial could not be extended. The top court, thus, granted the last extension till Sep 30.
The court had also transferred the trial pending in the Court of the Special Judicial Magistrate at Rae Bareilly to the Court of Additional Sessions Judge (Ayodhya Matters) at Lucknow to be heard together.
The article was originally published in The Leaflet.