Friday, October 1, 2010

The Babri demolition case drags on since 92

The verdict in the Ayodhya title suit is out, but in the Special CBI court drags on another case pertaining to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in which cases have been filed against all those involved in the incident of 1992.

Looking at the manner in which the case is going it appears that it would take a very long time for it to complete since it is still in the examination stages. The latest in this case is that it has been deferred to October 5 since a notification appointing a new judge for the CBI special court is yet to be issued. Parties to the case are hopeful that a new judge will be appointed after Special judge in the capacity of the Chief Judicial Magistrate was transferred.

The cross examination process is still on. When the court resumes hearing probably in the second week of October, it would continue with the cross examination of Anju Gupta who was the security officer to L K Advani.

Lawyers associated with the case say it is disappointing that the case in such an important case has come to a halt for the want of a judge. After much delay and hurdles the proceedings had commenced before the court. However the judge was transferred and we were told that a new judge would be posted on June 8th 2010. When the matter came up on that day we were informed that a new judge would be appointed immediately and the trial could resume on June 12. However there was no progress on that day too. The last time the matter came up was in the last week of September and yet again the lawyers were told that a new judge would be appointed. We have been assured that the trial will resume now on October 5 after a new judge is appointed.

Zafarayab Jilani one of the advocates in this case says that it is almost two decades since the case has been going on. I don’t see any conclusion in sight in the near future. This is an important case since it will bring out the truth behind the entire episode.

The case came to a halt at a very crucial stage. Anju Gupta’s evidence is considered to be very crucial since she was the one accompanying L K Advani as his security advisor at the time of the incident. The other key players in this case are Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, , Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambhara and Vishnu Hari Dalmiya Each one of them face charges of delivering inflammatory speeches which is believed to have stirred up the mob.

Lawyers are hopeful that the case will commence and conclude soon. Although the recent verdict of the High Court on the title suit will have no bearing on the criminal case they hope that there would be some finality to this case soon. The case has been dragging at a snails pace and till date the court has examined around 8 witnesses only. In addition to this there was some delay when the CBI moved the High Court seeking persmission to add fresh charges against some of the accused. However the High Court ruled that fresh charges could not be added when the existing ones have not been proven as yet

The Babri Masjid Action Committee says that they are hopeful of getting justice in this case since those responsible for the demolition must be punished at any cost. They relate to the last deposition and cross examination in the case which was made by Anju Guptha. She had said that there were specific intelligence inputs that harm will be caused to the Babri Masjid. She told the court that two sorts of threats were mentioned by the IB-one being the persons gathered there would harm the structure and secondly the ISI would cause law and order problems in the country. She also goes on to state that Advani had given a provocative speech in Ayodhya before the Mosque was demolished. She also took the names of Joshi, Uma Bharathi among others while stating that they too had made similar speeches.

Long History: Following the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the Uttar Pradesh government had set up a special court in Rae Bareli. The case was handed over to the CBI. However the CBI had to club two FIRs since there were two of them lodged. One of the FIRs was against the karsevaks while the other was against L K Advani and the rest. However the clubbing of the two FIRs was challenged before the High Court and the court in turn said that prior permission of the court ought to have been sought. The court also said that it was only the state government which was now empowered to issue a notification to cure this defect.

Initially there were 49 accused but proceedings against 21 of them were dropped due to the legal deificiency as mentioned above. The proceedings against these persons including Advani were kept in abeyance in the year 2002. However in the year 2005 when the CBI’s revision petition was heard the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court reinstated the charges of provoking people intentionally.

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