Babri Masjid demolition
Babri Masjid demolition
File Photo

A revision petition was on Friday (January 8) filed at the Allahabad High Court against the acquittal of all 32 people, including BJP veterans L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti, in the Babri Masjid demolition case last year. The accused had allegedly been involved in the demolition of the mosque they believed occupied the spot where Lord Ram was born.

The revision petition against their acquittal was filed on this day by one Haji Mehboob and Haji Saiyyad Akhlaq Ahmad, on behalf of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), reports indicated.

Notably, in a judgment that ran to 2,300 pages with enclosures, a special CBI court had, on September 30 last year, said that there was no conclusive evidence against the 32 accused of being involved in any conspiracy to bring down the disputed structure in Ayodhya.

The revision petition has now been filed challenging that verdict.

While delivering the verdict last year, special Judge S K Yadav did not accept newspaper reports and video cassettes as evidence. The court had also observed that the late Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal wanted to save the structure because Ram idols were inside.

The 16th century mosque was demolished on December 6, 1992, triggering riots that left hundreds dead in the country and widening rifts between the communities.

Former deputy prime minister L K Advani, the then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, former Union ministers Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, Ram Janmaboomi Teerth Kshetra Trust president Nritya Gopal Das and Shiv Sena leader Satish Pradhan had sought exemptions from personal appearance.

As the judge pronounced them not guilty, some of the accused chanted "Jai Shri Ram" in the court. As did Advani, a key figure in the Ram temple movement, at his home.

The verdict came twenty-eight years after the Babri Masjid was razed and less than a year after the Supreme Court's historic judgment in the related Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute that paved the way for the construction of a temple at the Ayodhya site.

The apex court verdict had called the demolition an egregious violation of the rule of law.

At one stage, the criminal conspiracy charge was dropped against the key figures but the Supreme Court restored it in 2017. The apex court also ordered daily hearings in the demolition case.

The conspiracy charge was in addition to charges like promoting enmity on grounds of religion.

The CBI had argued that the accused conspired and instigated 'kar sevaks' to demolish the mosque.

The accused pleaded innocence, maintaining that there was no evidence to prove their guilt and they were victims of political vendetta by the then Congress government at the Centre.

(With inputs from PTI)

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