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Wrap up Babri Masjid demolition case by May: Supreme Court to trial court

A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Surya Kant said the recording of evidence in the case should be completed within six months.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 20, 2019, 07.50 AM IST
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Babri Demolition Case: SC sets deadline, asks Lucknow Special Bench to complete trial in 9 months
Babri Demolition Case: SC sets deadline, asks Lucknow Special Bench to complete trial in 9 months
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has ordered a Lucknow special court to deliver verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition case within nine months. Those arraigned as accused in the case include BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati, Vinay Katiyar and VHP’s Sadhvi Rithamabara.

A bench granted extension to the special judge trying the case beyond retirement. He will conclude the trial in nine months and retire. The extraordinary decision is in the interest of a quick trial. SC directed UP chief secretary to file an affidavit bringing on record the appropriate orders passed by the state government with regard to extension of the tenure of the judge. During the extended tenure, the special judge would remain under the administrative control of the Allahabad High Court, SC said. The order of a bench led by Justice RF Nariman came after the state consented to the idea. The special court will examine all witnesses in the case in six months and deliver a ruling three months after that.

SC had earlier transferred the Rae Bareily case against political leaders and clubbed it with the case against ordinary kar sevaks in Lucknow court. While ordinary kar sevaks face charges of criminal conspiracy, dacoity, robbery, causing hurt, defiling places of worship, promoting enmity between two groups on religious grounds in the Lucknow case, the leaders’ case in Rae Bareilly dealt with the political conspiracy, instigation, wantonly causing rioting, creating enmity and statements causing public mischief (Section 505). SC said the trial will continue from where it was let off on a day to day basis until conclusion.

“We request the special judge and in addition it is made clear that the recording of evidence shall be completed within six months from today. The oral argument shall be kept to be bare minimum and supplemented with written submissions. Judgment in the case should be ready and delivered maximum within a period of nine months from today,” the bench said. The court had also directed the Lucknow sessions court to frame additional charges of criminal conspiracy and other charges against 13 others who were discharged in the case.

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