The Supreme Court has extended the deadline for the special CBI court in Lucknow till September 30 to deliver the verdict in the 1992 Babri mosque demolition case, which was previously set as August 31.
The mosque in Ayodhya was demolished by ‘kar sevaks’ claiming that an ancient Ram temple stood at the same site – Advani and Joshi among those leading the Ram temple movement at that time.
After the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, two FIRs were lodged. FIR No. 197/92 was filed against the kar sevaks who allegedly demolished the mosque; FIR No. 198/92 named, besides Advani, Joshi, Bharti, Singh, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar, Vishwa , several Hindu Parishad leaders Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya and Sadhvi Rithambara, and others accusing them of “making provocative speeches” that instigated the kar sevaks. 47 more cases were lodged then, which were later merged with the case of demolition. Bal Thackeray too was named, but his name was removed after his death.
Last month, Advani denied his role in the incident, overturning special CBI court via video conference. His lawyer KK Mishra, pleading the 92-year-old leader og being falsely implicated due to a political conspiracy. He went on to term the evidence against him false.
“Having read the report of Mr. Surendra Kumar Yadav, learned Special Judge, and considering that the proceedings are at the fag end, we grant one month’s time, i.e., till 30th September, 2020, to complete the proceedings including delivery of judgment,” the apex court has said in an order.
The top court had previously set August 31 as deadline for the CBI court to conclude the trial of the case, involving a total of 32 accused including former deputy prime minister L K Advani, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, BJP leaders M M Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiar and Sadhvi Ritambhara.