Babri Masjid demolition case: CBI court directs NIC to arrange video conferencing to record statements of LK Advani, eight other accused

A Special CBI court hearing the Babri mosque demolition case on Saturday directed the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to make arrangements for video conferencing to record statements of nine accused, including former deputy prime minister LK Advani.

Press Trust of India June 21, 2020 11:17:25 IST
Babri Masjid demolition case: CBI court directs NIC to arrange video conferencing to record statements of LK Advani, eight other accused

Lucknow: A Special CBI court hearing the Babri mosque demolition case on Saturday directed the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to make arrangements for video conferencing to record statements of nine accused, including former deputy prime minister LK Advani.

"The NIC should be written to ensure the video conferencing facility at the residence of the accused whose list is enclosed along with this order," special judge SK Yadav said.

The office of the court, in compliance with the order, will send a communication to the NIC that comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

The list comprises the names of BJP veterans Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Acharya Dharmendra Dev, RN Srivastava, Jai Bhagwan Goel, Amar Nath Goel and Sudhir Kakkad.

These accused have to depose under section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

The court prepared a list of about 1,000 questions to be asked from almost all the accused. The trial court framed the questions on the basis of evidence produced by the prosecution agency CBI regarding the complicity of the accused.

"The special court informs an accused about the particular fact and evidence which came during the trial against him and then asks him to speak as to what does he want to tell about this," CBI counsel Lalit Singh said.

"In this way, the court asked about 1,000 questions from the 13 accused who have deposed so far and the court may follow similar proceedings with the rest of accused," Singh added.

In the list, Advani is suggested to depose before the special court on 30 June; Joshi on 1 July; Kalyan on 2 July; RN Srivastava on 22 June; Mahant Nritya Gopal Das on 23 June; Jai Bhagwan Das on 24 June; Amar Nath Goel on 25 June; Sudhir Kakkad on 26 June; and Acharya Dharmendra Dev on 29 June.

The details of their addresses were furnished before the court which had asked for the same so that it could forward the NIC asking it to ensure facility of video conferencing at the residence of these accused.

Earlier, accused Ram Chandra Khatri was produced before the special judge through video conferencing from District Jail, Sonipat, Haryana where Khatri is lodged in connection with another case. However, his statement could not be recorded because of poor connectivity from Sonipat Jail. Hence, the court fixed 7 July for recording of his evidence from Sonipat jail. The special judge asked the NIC to provide better connectivity.

The court has been conducting day to day proceedings in order to conclude the trial by 31 August, as directed by the Supreme Court.

The Babri Masjid was demolished in December 1992 by "kar sevaks" who claimed that the mosque in Ayodhya was built on the site of an ancient Ram temple.

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