Babri masjid demolition case: SC orders trial against accused including LK Advani to be completed within 9 months

The Supreme Court has ruled that the trial against LK Advani and the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition must be finished within the next nine months.

The accused, including senior BJP leaders Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh and LK Advani were charged with criminal conspiracy for their alleged role in the demolition in 1992. Now the SC has given a deadline stating that the trial must be finished in the next 9 months — going into February or March 2020.

 Babri masjid demolition case: SC orders trial against accused including LK Advani to be completed within 9 months

File image of karsevaks demolishing Babri Masjid in 1992. AFP

The Supreme Court also said that the examination of witnesses and documents must be kept as short as possible.

In April 2017, the apex court had asked the special judge to complete the trial in two years.

Earlier, the court had granted bail to all accused including Advani, Joshi and Bharati in the case. Bail was granted against the submission of a personal bond of Rs 50,000 each.

Besides Advani, Joshi and Bharti, the accused against whom the conspiracy charge was invoked included former BJP MP Vinay Katiar and Sadhvi Ritambara. In 2001, a CBI court had dropped the conspiracy charges against them and the Allahabad High Court upheld the judgment in 2010.

But the Supreme Court on 19 April this year ordered prosecution of Advani, Joshi, Bharti and other accused for criminal conspiracy in the 27-year-old case.

The apex court had asked the special court to conduct day-to-day hearing, and that fresh charges were to be framed within a month.

The Babri mosque was demolished on 6 December, 1992 by karsevaks who had converged as part of a movement by the BJP and Hindu outfits for Ram temple at the disputed site. Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against a high court judgement, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

Earlier this year, All India Ulema Board filed a complaint to lodge an FIR against Bharatiya Janata Party Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur for hurting sentiments of the Muslim community with her Babri Masjid demolition remark, where she said, "I will go to construct the Ram Temple. I have said it yesterday and I am not denying it that I had gone there. I have demolished Babri structure. He is my Ramji and no one can stop me from making a grand Ram Temple. The nation is Ram, Ram is a nation."

With inputs from ANI.

Updated Date: Jul 19, 2019 12:29:20 IST