Twenty-eight years after the demolition of Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, a special CBI court will on Wednesday (September 30) pronounce its verdict in this case. The case is significant because senior BJP leaders like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti are named as key accused in this case.
Judge SK Yadav has directed all accused to remain present when a special court delivers judgement in the demolition case. Prominent among the 32 accused are former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani and BJP leaders MM Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar and Sadhvi Rithambara.
It is likely that Advani, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh, MM Joshi, Satish Pradhan and Nrityagopal Das would not be present physically in the court room on Wednesday and attend the procedings via video conferencing.
On the other hand, those who are expected to be present in the court are, Champat Rai, Brijbhushan Singh, Pawan Pandey Lallu Singh, Sakshi Maharaj, Sadhvi Rithambar, Acharya Dharmendra Dev, Ramchandra Khatri, Sudhir Kakkar, OP Pandey, Jai Bhagwan Goyal, Amarnath Goyal and Santosh Dubey.
The final arguments in this case were made on September 1. Some of the final submissions by the accused were made through video conferencing as they were unable to travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Around 351 witnesses and nearly 600 documentary evidence was produced by the CBI before the court in this case.
Initially, charges were framed against 48 people but 16 of them died during the trial. The CBI’s main argument against the accused is that they conspired and instigated the kar sevaks to demolish the 16th century Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court in 2019 allotted the disputed land in Ayodhya for the construction of a Ram temple. The SC, however, also said that Babri Masjid demolition was a violation of the rule of law. The apex court also ordered the Centre that an alternative five-acre site should be given to the Muslims in the city for building a mosque.