Court begins recording statements of Babri demolition accused

The Supreme Court has extended the deadline for completion of hearing in the case up to August 31


The Special CBI court, Lucknow started recording statements of the accused in Babri Masjid demolition case on June 4 which includes senior BJP leaders L K Advani, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Brij Bhushan Saran Singh and Sakshi Maharaj.

The court has already completed examination of prosecution witnesses and was able to record the statement of only Vijay Bahadur Singh, under section 313 of the Code of Criminal procedure (CrPC). Others who appeared before the court were Pawan Pandey, Santosh Dubey and Gandhi Yadav. The rest will be examined on June 5.

The Judge, SK Yadav also directed them to furnish defence evidence in writing. Under Section 313, a judge questions the accused on the basis of the evidence put before the court during the trial, and the accused is given an opportunity to be heard. After its completion, the defence puts up evidence in the support of the accused.

The court was to begin recording these statements on March 24 but this was stalled since the court closed down due to COVID19 pandemic.

The Supreme Court had on April 19, 2017, asked the special court to conducted daily hearings of the case and conclude it within 2 years. The Supreme Court has extended this deadline up to August 31 this year. Earlier there were two sets of cases relating to the demolition of Babri Masjid, one in Lucknow and other in Rae Bareli; these were then clubbed. The one in Lucknow court was on charges of conspiracy to demolish the mosque, and the other in Rae Bareli court was for instigating the crowd to raze the structure.

The land dispute has been settled by the Supreme Court allowing Ram temple to be constructed at the disputed site and ordered to allocate a separate plot for constructing the mosque.

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


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