Special CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav has delivered his verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition case on Wednesday, 28 years after the 16th century structure was razed by a mob in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya town.
The key accused include former deputy prime minister LK Advani, former Union ministers MM Joshi and Uma Bharti and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh. Most of the senior leaders among the 32 accused such as LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were not present in the Lucknow court but marked their presence via video conference.
The 32 accused face charges under several sections of the IPC, including criminal conspiracy, rioting, promoting enmity between different groups and unlawful assembly. During the trial, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) produced 351 witnesses and 600 documents as evidence before the CBI court. The court had initially framed charges against 49 accused; 17 accused have died.
Court ruled video recording was tampered, CBI didn’t follow procedure: Defence lawyer
Special CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav did not admit the videos produced by the Central Bureau of Investigation, holding that the recording had been tampered with, defence lawyer Manish Tripathi said. The judge also did not admit the photographs submitted by the CBI since it could not produce the original negatives. The judge also agreed with the defence that the CBI did not follow provisions of the Evidence Act.
Court said RSS, VHP didn’t have a role in demolition, says defence lawyer Manish Tripathi
Defence lawyer Manish Tripathi told reporters that the court ordered acquittal on grounds that the evidence against them was insufficient, “The court said the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad did not have a role in the demolition. It was carried out by mischievous elements,” Tripathi said, giving details of the court verdict.
This ends long-pending dispute over December 6 incident, says defence lawyer
“The CBI court has acquitted all 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case. This ends the long pending dispute related with the December 6, 1992 incident, “ said lawyer KK Mishra who is representing 25 out of 32 accused in the case. The decision was followed by mixed narratives by ruling and opposition parties.
It is only after detailed examination of all these aspects, facts and evidence that the SC held the demolition of Masjid to be an egregious violation of the rule of law . So much so that the Supreme Court was misled by filing a wrong Affidavit on oath: Congress : Congress
TMC comes out with a guarded response on Babri verdict
Trinamool Congress on Wednesday was guarded in its response on the acquittal of all the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case by a special CBI court in Lucknow and said that “those who are not happy with the judgement will get relief in higher courts”. “It is a court judgement, so we cannot just say we oppose or support it. The verdict has come after 28 years, few people are unhappy with it. We have come to know from the media that some outfits have expressed their displeasure,” senior TMC leader and party spokesman Sougata Roy said.
Verdict in Babri demolition case amounts to ‘travesty of justice’: CPM
“The acquittals amount to a travesty of justice. It took 28 long years for this verdict but not justice to be delivered. All the top leaders of the BJP-VHP-RSS who were present at the scene guiding the criminal act have been found to be innocent of the charge of conspiracy to demolish the mosque,” the CPM politburo said in a statement
Gujarat BJP, VHP, Togadia’s AHP welcome Babri verdict
The ruling BJP in Gujarat alongiwth the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Pravin Togadia’s Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP) on Wednesday welcomed the CBI court’s verdict acquitting all the accused in the Babri mosque demolition case. State BJP chief C R Paatil hailed the ruling as a “victory of truth”.”Once again, truth emerged victorious. My sincere regards to the Indian judiciary. Jay Shree Ram,” Paatil tweeted. “We are happy as the court has acquitted national leaders like L K Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, from this case,” said Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel. “The verdict has now put a full-stop to the entire issue. Work for Ram Mandir has also started in Ayodhya,” Patel told reporters in Gandhinagar.
Historic verdict, should bring an end to issue: Murli Manohar Joshi
“I will say only one thing ‘Jai Jai Shri Ram, Sab ko sanmatti de bhagwan (May Lord, bestow wisdom on all),” he said, expressing happiness over the judgement. “The court had delivered a historic verdict,” Joshi told reporters here in his first reaction to the verdict in the 28-year-old case. He thanked the lawyers who appeared for him in the matter and said they presented all the aspects and facts before the court.
Owaisi outrages over court ruling in Babri mosque demolition case
Owaisi on Wednesday he called the special court’s verdict “obnoxious” and said the central agency should appeal against it. Speaking to reporters, Owaisi in his reaction to the judgement said, “This judgement satisfies the collective consciousness of hindutva and its followers and ideology.” He wondered how the court could state that there was no conspiracy in the matter. “Was it a some sort of magic that on December 6 the masjid was demolished? Who called for the assembling of the people over there? Who made sure that they entered over there?” he asked.
Muslim bodies to collectively decide on challenging Babri case verdict: Firangi Mahali
All-India Muslim Personal Law Board senior member Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali on Wednesday said organisations representing the community will together decide whether they need to challenge or not the CBI court verdict in the Babri mosque demolition case. Refusing to comment on their acquittal, Mahali said, “I don’t have anything to say on the verdict. Everybody knows how the Babri mosque was sacrificed on December 6, 1992 in Ayodhya and how all rules were flouted.
Babri case lost its relevance after 2019 SC verdict: Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said the Babri masjid demolition case lost its relevance after the supreme court settled the Ram Janmabhoomi title suit in 2019 even as he welcomed the special court’s verdict acquitting all the 32 accused in the case. “This verdict was expected. I, on behalf of Shiv Sena and party president Uddhav Thackeray, welcome this decision of the court,” he added. Raut also said that had Babri (mosque) not been razed, the ‘bhoomi pujan’ of Ram temple in Ayodhya wouldn’t have been possible. “…We have to forget that episode now,” he added.
Special court verdict in Babri case runs counter to SC judgement, constitutional spirit: Cong
Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said every Indian who has innate faith in the Constitution and in the spirit of communal amity and brotherhood expects and urges the central and state governments to file an appeal against the decision of the special court. “The decision of the Special Court to acquit all the accused in Babri Masjid demolition case runs counter to Supreme Court judgement as also the constitutional spirit,” Surjewala said. The Supreme Court in its judgement on November 9 last year, pronounced by five judges, had clearly held that the demolition of Babri Masjid was a clear illegality and “egregious violation of the rule of law”, Surjewala told reporters.