Lucknow: The special CBI court has completed arguments in the trial over the demolition of the Babri mosque structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, and reserved its judgement for September end.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked the special court to complete its trial by September 30 and hence the judgement is expected before that. On Tuesday, on the last day of the arguments, lawyers of the accused appeared before the court, some personally and others virtually, to record their last statements in favour of their client.
Special judge SK Yadav, while reserving the judgement on Tuesday after completing the arguments have asked the court officials to place all the files before him on Wednesday so that he can start dictating the verdict.
A total of 32 accused have recorded their statements including former Deputy PM Lal Krishna Advani, former union minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi and then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, before the special judge, mostly through video conferencing.
All the accused have claimed that they were innocent and they were politically implicated in the conspiracy.
Mr Adavani, who recorded his statement on July 24 through video conferencing from New Delhi, had denied all charges of the CBI made against him on the conspiracy to demolish the Babri mosque structure. The BJP leader alleged that all the charges were made due to political reasons.
On July 23, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi appeared through video conferencing from Delhi to record his statement and he too said that he was innocent. He said he was not present there at the time of the demolition and he was politically implicated in the case. He refuted all charges of the prosecution and even said that the evidences against him were fabricated. He also said that the video presented against him was doctored and he will present evidence of his innocence later on.
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and accused in the Ayodhya demolition case Kalyan Singh, while appearing before the trial court on July 13 had blamed the then Congress government of implicating him in the Ayodhya demolition case.
Mr Singh said that all the charges against him were without any basis and it was politically motivated. “As a chief minister of UP, we had made elaborate security to protect the structure and from time to time have given orders to strengthen its security cover,” he said before the court.
The other accused, who appeared in the trial court to record their statements are BJP MPs Braj Bhushan Sharan Singh, Lalu Singh, Sakshi Maharaj, former MPs Vinay Katiyar, Ram Vilas Vedanti, VHP leader and Ramjanambhoomi Tirath Kshetra Trust general secretary Champat Rai, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahant Dharamdas, R N Srivastava, Pawan Kumar Pandey and Satish Pradhan.
After SC’s strict direction, the court has sped up its effort to record the statement of 32 accused under section 313 of the CrPC, if required through video conferencing.
Earlier the special court (Ayodhya matter) was asked by the Apex Court to complete the trial by April 18 but due to lockdown, the judge had sought the extension of the deadline.
On the plea of the special judge, the SC had extended the time frame to complete the trial by August 31. But again it was extended for another one month up till September 30.
The trial court, going for day to day hearing before the lockdown, had completed the recording of the statement of the 294th witness M Narayanan in the first week of March last.
Mr Narayanan was the last witness on behalf of the CBI in the case, which was lodged by the Ramjanambhoomi police station SHO and Ramjamanbhoomi chowki incharge on December 6, 1992. A total of 48 FIRs were registered in connection with the demolition in which CB-CID investigated the matter and then it was handed over to the CBI. Later on May 31, 2017, CBI filed a chargesheet against 49 accused in which 17 of them have died.