Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Court at Lucknow on Wednesday acquitted all 32 accused, including prominent BJP leaders L K Advani, Uma Bharti, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh and Vinay Katiyar, in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
Reading out the 2000 page verdict, Judge S K Yadav said that the demolition was not pre-planned and happened at the spur of the moment. The judge added that the CBI failed to prove that any of the accused was directly or indirectly involved in the demolition.
The accused persons were facing trial 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 complete its work. Consequently, the top court 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.
On November 09, 2019, the Supreme Court delivered its judgment favouring the construction of a temple at the site of the demolished Babri Masjid, while terming the destruction of the mosque an “egregious violation of rule of law”.
Read the order