Babri demolition: SC asks UP govt to pass orders in 2 weeks on extension of special judge’s tenure

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to pass orders within two weeks on extension of tenure of the special judge conducting trial in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case, involving BJP veterans L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti, in Lucknow.

A bench of justices R F Nariman and Surya Kant said a fresh letter has been written by the special judge on July 27 in which he had made five requests including providing him security.

The bench asked senior advocate Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the state, to consider all the five requests within two weeks time saying these requests appears to be reasonable.

The apex court had on July 19 extended the special judge’s tenure till the completion of trial and delivery of verdict in the case. However, the state government was yet to pass the order.

He was also asked by the top court to deliver the verdict within nine months.

Besides Advani, Joshi and Bharti, the accused against whom conspiracy charge was invoked in the case by the Supreme Court on April 19, 2017, include former BJP MP Vinay Katiar and Sadhvi Ritambara.

Three other high-profile accused Giriraj Kishore, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal and Vishnu Hari Dalmia died during trial and the proceedings against them have been abated.

Babri demolition case: Special judge seeks 6 months’ time from Supreme Court to conclude trial

A special judge holding trial in Babri Masjid demolition case, involving BJP veterans L K Advani, M M Joshi and others, Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking six more months to conclude the trial in the case.

The special judge, in a letter written in May, has informed the top court that he is due to superannuate on September 30, 2019.

The matter came up for hearing on Monday before a bench headed by Justice R F Nariman, which asked the Uttar Pradesh government to apprise it by July 19 about a mechanism by which the tenure of the special judge could be extended till he delivers the verdict in the high profile case.

On April 19, 2017, the top court had ordered day-to-day trial to be concluded in two years in the politically sensitive 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.

While dubbing the demolition of the medieval era monument as a “crime” which shook the “secular fabric of the Constitution”, it had allowed the CBI’s plea on restoration of criminal conspiracy charge against the VVIP accused.

However, the top court had said Kalyan Singh, who is currently the Governor of Rajasthan and during whose tenure as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh the disputed structure was razed, is entitled to immunity under Constitution as long as he remained in gubernatorial position.

The court had come down heavily on the CBI for the delay of 25 years in the trial and said, “The accused persons have not been brought to book largely because of the conduct of the CBI in not pursuing the prosecution of the aforesaid alleged offenders in a joint trial, and because of technical defects which were easily curable, but which were not cured by the State Government.”

Issuing a slew of directions, it had said that “the proceedings (against Advani and five others) in the court of the Special Judicial Magistrate at Rae Bareilly will stand transferred to the Court of Additional Sessions Judge (Ayodhya Matters) at Lucknow.”

Besides the three leaders, the accused, against whom the conspiracy charge was invoked, were Vinay Katiar, Sadhvi Ritambara, Vishnu Hari Dalmia, who were being tried at Rae Bareilly.

“The court of sessions will frame additional charges under Section 120-B (conspiracy) and the other provisions of the Penal Code mentioned in the joint charge sheet filed by the CBI against Champat Rai Bansal, Satish Pradhan, Dharam Das, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahamadleshwar Jagdish Muni, Ram Bilas Vadanti, Vaikunth Lal Sharma and Satish Chandra Nagar,” the apex court had said.

It had also said that if trial was adjourned, then it should be fixed on the the next day or a closely proximate date and the reasons for it shall be recorded in writing.

CBI shall ensure that on every date fixed for recording of evidence, some prosecution witnesses must remain present, so that for want of witnesses the matter is not adjourned, it had said.

The court had termed the Allahabad High Court’s February 12, 2001 verdict dropping conspiracy charge against Advani and others as “erroneous”.

Out of the eight VIP accused, Giriraj Kishore and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal have died during trial and the proceedings against them have been abated.

“Babri demolition, Godhra riots led youths to Qaeda”

"Babri demolition, Godhra riots led youths to Qaeda"
“Babri demolition, Godhra riots led youths to Qaeda”

Indians joining al Qaeda were moved by the 1992 Babri mosque demolition and 2002 Godhra riots and were committed to establish base of terror outfit al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) here, Delhi Police has told a court here.

In its charge sheet filed against 17 accused, Special Cell of Delhi Police said for the purpose of jihad, some of them had gone to Pakistan and had met Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and several other dreaded terrorists.

“While delivering jihadi speeches in various mosques, he (arrested accused Syed Anzar Shah) met Mohd Umar (one of the absconding accused) and they discussed atrocities on Muslims in India, especially Godhra and Babri Masjid issues.

“Umar got impressed with his jihadi ideology and speeches and committed himself to the cause of jihad and expressed the desire to receive arms/ammunition training from Pakistan,” the charge sheet filed before Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh said. It said that Umar was operating from Pakistan.

Police said arrested accused Abdul Rehman had provided safe hideouts in India to Pakistani militants Salim, Mansoor and Sajjad, all members of Jaish-e-Mohammed, who were later killed in a shootout in Uttar Pradesh in 2001.

These three Pakistani militants had come to India to take revenge of Babri Masjid demolition and had planned to attack Ram Mandir in Ayodhya but got killed, the charge sheet claimed.

The police named in its charge sheet 17 accused, 12 of whom are absconding, for allegedly conspiring, recruiting Indian youths and establishing a base of AQIS here.

In its final report, the agency has charged five arrested accused — Mohd Asif, Zafar Masood, Mohd Abdul Rehman, Syed Anzar Shah and Abdul Sami — for alleged offences under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

All the 17 accused were listed in the charge sheet for alleged offences under sections 18 (punishment for conspiracy), 18-B (punishment for recruiting of any person for terror act) and 20 (punishment for being member of terror organisation) of the UAPA.

( Source – PTI )