On Wednesday, a special CBI court in Lucknow acquitted all 32 person accused of hatching a criminal conspiracy behind the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.
Among them were BJP stalwarts like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh.
Special CBI judge SK Yadav – in a 2300-page verdict – said there was ‘no criminal conspiracy’ to demolish the mosque.
What CBI court said
Special CBI Judge S K Yadav, in his 2300-page verdict, held that the demolition of the mosque was not premeditated and that there was no criminal conspiracy behind it.
The Court said that the demolition was not pre-planned and that the accused had actually tried to stop the mob and not incite them. The court stated that those who climbed on the dome were ‘anti-social elements’.
The court further doubted the authenticity of the audio and video clips provided by CBI.
CBI judge S K Yadav did not accept newspapers and video cassettes as evidence. The court also observed that late Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal wanted to save the structure because Ram idols were inside.
The case relates to the razing of the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, which triggered riots for several months leaving nearly 2,000 people dead across the country.
The structure was demolished by 'kar sevaks' who claimed that the mosque in Ayodhya was built on
Yadav had on September 16 directed all the 32 surviving accused to remain present in the court on the day of the judgment. Today was the last working day of Yadav
The central agency produced 351 witnesses and 600 documents as evidence before the court. Charges were framed against 48 people, but 16 have died during the course of trial.
After the verdict, AIMIM’s Owaisi termed it a ‘black day for Indian judiciary’ saying that the SC had already said that the Babri demolition was ‘an egregious violation of rule of law’ and ‘calculated act of destroying a public place of worship’.
What SC said
The CBI court’s judgement ran counter to the Supreme Court’s who had observed on November 2019 that there was ‘egregious violation of rule of law’.
In fact, a bench comprising of then CJI Gogoi, Justice, SA Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer while stating that Muslims be given an alternative site noted: “The exclusion of the Muslims from worship and possession took place on the intervening night between 22/23 December 1949 when the mosque was desecrated by the installation of Hindu idols.”
It added: “The ouster of the Muslims on that occasion was not through any lawful authority but through an act which was calculated to deprive them of their place of worship. After the proceedings under Section 145 of CrPC 1898 were initiated and a receiver was appointed following the attachment of the inner courtyard, worship of the Hindu idols was permitted. During the pendency of the suits, the entire structure of the mosque was brought down in a calculated act of destroying a place of public worship. The Muslims have been wrongly deprived of a mosque which had been constructed well over 450 years ago. On 6 December 1992, the structure of the mosque was brought down and the mosque was destroyed. The destruction of the mosque took place in breach of the order of status quo and an assurance given to this Court. The destruction of the mosque and the obliteration of the Islamic structure was an egregious violation of the rule of law.”
Veteran BJP leader LK Advani, who was acquitted by a special CBI court on Wednesday in the Babri mosque demolition case, welcomed the court verdict by chanting 'Jai Shri Ram', and said it vindicates his personal and BJP's belief and commitment towards the 'Ram Janmabhoomi Movement'.
Advani, who was the face of the Ram Janambhoomi Movement in 1992, was acquitted along with all other 31 accused in the case.
"It is a very important decision and a matter of happiness for us. When we heard the news of the court's order, we welcomed it by chanting Jai Shri Ram," Advani said in a video message.
Later in a statement, he said, "the judgement vindicates my personal and the Bharatiya Janata Party's belief and commitment towards the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement.