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Babri Masjid demolition case: SC reserves verdict on plea against BJP leaders

LiveMint logoLiveMint 06-04-2017 Apurva Vishwanath

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on issues concerning the trial of those allegedly involved in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.

A bench comprising justices Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Rohinton Nariman indicated that it could direct a fresh joint trial at Lucknow.

Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, appearing on behalf of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), agreed with the court’s view.

Several leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) including former Union ministers L.K. Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti are accused in the case.

The court was hearing appeals against dropping of conspiracy charges against Advani, Joshi and 19 others for the demolition of the disputed structure on 6 December, 1992.

“We need to do justice in cases like these. One party cannot get benefit from a technical defect. Seventeen years have passed and we haven’t addressed it,” the apex court said in an oral observation.

On 6 March, the apex court had decided to examine the appeal against dropping of conspiracy charge against the accused including Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharti.

Currently, a sessions court in Lucknow and Raibareli are supposed be trying the case. In Lucknow, 47 karsevaks or ‘volunteers’ who were in and around the disputed structure are being tried.

In the last 25 years 157 witnesses have been examined and 800 more are yet to testify before the court. The court was also informed that the Raibareli court has been vacant without a judge for a few years now.

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