48 people, including LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, were accused of demolishing the Babri Masjid structure.
Lucknow| While the construction of Ram Mandir has begun in Ayodhya, the verdict in the case of demolition of the disputed Babri Masjid structure will be out today. 28 years ago, on December 6, 1992, the structure of Babri Masjid was demolished by karsevaks in Ayodhya. 48 people, including LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, were accused of demolishing the structure. Of these, 16 have died. The CBI’s special court will decide the fate of 32 accused today.
On December 6, 1992, two FIRs were registered at 10 minute intervals
In the first FIR case number 197/92 was filed by Priyavadan Nath Shukla under Sections 395, 397, 332, 337, 338, 295, 297 and 153A against all the unidentified persons in the case of demolition of Babri Masjid at 5:15 pm.
The second FIR case number 198/92 was registered on behalf of Chowki in-charge Ganga Prasad Tiwari against eight accused, including BJP’s LK Advani, Uma Bharti, Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, then MP and Bajrang Dal chief Vinay Katiyar, then VHP general secretary Ashok Singhal, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya and Giriraj Kishor. A case was registered against them under Sections 153A, 153B, 505.
Later in January 1993, 47 other lawsuits were filed, including allegations of assault on journalists and robbery.
Special court set up in Lucknow on the orders of the High Court in 1993
In 1993, a special court was constituted in Lucknow on the orders of the Allahabad High Court, in which case number 197/92 was to be heard. Section 120B was added on the advice of the High Court in this case, while this section was not added in the original FIR. In October 1993, the CBI filed a joint chargesheet adding 198/92 case to its chargesheet. Because the two cases were connected.
In the same charge sheet, 48 names like Bal Thackeray, Nritya Gopal Das, Kalyan Singh, Champat Rai were added. Mazharuddin, the lawyer involved in the case, explains that if all the chargesheets of the CBI were combined, then the chargesheet would have been two to two and a half thousand pages.
Trial Begins In 2007
The trial in the case then began and the first testimony took place in 2007. KK Mishra, counsel for the case, said that there was a list of 994 witnesses, out of which 351 testified. There were 57 witnesses in 198/92 case number, while 294 witnesses appeared in case number 197/92. Many of the witnesses couldn’t testify as they were dead by the time trial began, someone’s address was wrong so no one was found at their address.
Supreme Court Orders Simultaneous Hearing
In June 2017, the Supreme Court ordered a simultaneous hearing of the case.
The CBI went to the Supreme Court in 2011 against the High Court decision. In its petition, it said the two cases would be jointly tried in a special court in Lucknow and a criminal conspiracy case would be added. The hearing in the Supreme Court continued. In June 2017, the High Court ruled in favor of the CBI.
Not only this, the Supreme Court also fixed a time limit of two years to finish this case. When that deadline expired in April 2019, another nine-month extension was given. Following this, in view of the Coronavirus crisis, time was given to complete the hearing by August 31 and deliver the verdict on September 30.