Babri demolition verdict on Sep 30: BJP leaders LK Advani and Joshi to stand as accused in the court!

In what has become one of the much-awaited judgments, a special CBI court that has been hearing the case of Babri Masjid Demolition would be pronouncing its verdict on September 30, as the trajectory of the decades-long case has unfolded its final phase which would seemingly irk the veteran BJP leaders, who are the main accused in the case.  

The announcement of the date of the verdict, which was made on Wednesday, has been on the top of the headlines, picturing the severity of the case and the accused, some of whom had held and have been decorating the flag of powerful political leaders in the country. The Special Court Justice SK Yadav, who would be pronouncing the verdict, had directed all the accused in the case to present in the courtroom on the day of judgment. 

The case carries 32 accused including former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani and BJP leaders Murali Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh, and Vinay Katiyar. These veteran BJP leaders were directly accused of demolishing Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992, which was the spark of what had later emerged as the strongest land dispute in independent India. 

They demolished the 15th-century mosque in December 1992 by claiming that the mosque was built after collapsing the ancient Hindu temple that marked the birthplace of Lord Ram. The case has been one of the highly sensitive issues and in November last year, the five-member constitutional bench of the Supreme Court headed by then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had unanimously pronounced the verdict of allowing the construction of Ram temple in the disputed site. 

While the apex court had ordered the construction and it has also been started after the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone last month, the Babri Masjid demolition case has been ruling for over two decades. On July 24 this year, one of the main accused in the case LK Advani had appeared before the special CBI court through video conference had recorded his statement and BJP leaders Murali Manohar Joshi had also recorded his statement to the special court. 

The reports say that both the leaders had strongly denied the charges against them. In April 2017, the apex court had directed the special court to conduct day-to-day hearings and complete the trial within two years. The Supreme Court had given multiple extensions for the special court and when Justice SK Yadav sought additional time, the apex court had given the time till September 30. 

The special court had completed the proceedings and it has now announced that the final verdict will be pronounced on September 30 during which LK Advani and other BJP veteran leaders would be standing as accused before the justice. According to CBI counsel Lalit Singh, the arguments of the defence and prosecution had concluded on September 1 following which the special judge had started writing the judgment. 

The CBI has produced about 350 witnesses and around 600 documentary evidence before the court as the demolition had instigated the communal riots across the country during which around 3,000 people have died.