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    Special CBI court sealed for 48 hours after local lawyer contracts Covid-19

    Synopsis

    Senior BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani was slated to record his statement under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) on June 30 via video conferencing.

    The court had directed NIC to make arrangements at the homes of ten accused who had opted to record their statements via videoconferencing. These include veteran BJP leader and former deputy prime minister L K Advani.
    The recording of statements of accused involved in the demolition of Babri Masjid has been deferred till July 2 after the district authorities decided to sanitize the premises of special CBI Court, Lucknow conducting the day-to-day trial. This, after a local lawyer was found to be tested positive for Covid-19.

    Senior BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani was slated to record his statement under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) on June 30 via video conferencing.

    “The special CBI Court and the adjoining district Courts have been sealed for the next 48 hours after a local lawyer, member of the Lucknow Bar Association contracted Covid-19” said an official privy to the development.

    Meanwhile, Sadhvi Rithambara was questioned today by the special CBI court over her alleged involvement in the demolition of the mosque. Another senior BJP leader Uma Bharati is likely to record her statement after the Court resumes functioning on July 2.

    L K Advani, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh and M M Joshi will record their statements via video conferencing. ET on June 26 reported that over one and a month after and repeated reminders, the video conferencing apparatus sought by the special CBI Court, Lucknow conducting day-to-day trial of Babri Masjid demolition was finally installed.

    The special CBI Judge S K Yadav on May 14 had instructed the authorities of UP administration to install the apparatus. The Judge had to send repeated reminders for the same.

    In absence of the facility, the Judge had to make use of the videoconferencing room available in the adjoining court complex of the district and sessions judge, Lucknow to examine two prosecution witnesses.

    The court, last week, had made it clear that any accused above 65 years of age will be made to record his statment under Section 313 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) via video conferencing.

    The court had directed National Informatics Centre (NIC) to make arrangements at the homes of ten accused who had opted to record their statements via videoconferencing. These include veteran BJP leader and former deputy prime minister L K Advani.

    ET last week had reported that some accused have indicated that they would produce witnesses in their defence to prove their “innocence”. This is likely to delay the conclusion of the trial.

    Sakshi Maharaj, Dharminder Singh Gurjar and Vinay Kumar Rai have verbally informed a special CBI court in Lucknow hearing the mosque demolition case that they would like to produce evidence in their defence vide witnesses.

    According to the procedure, the accused will furnish a list of witnesses who they wish to produce in their defence to the court. The witnesses will then be examined in the court.

    The special court had made it clear that after the recording of statements of all the accused it would ask them if they would want to produce defence witnesses.

    The Supreme Court on May 8 had ordered that the special court trial be concluded and the verdict pronounced by August 31.

    However, with three accused already indicating that they would produce defence witnesses, the trial might take longer to conclude.

    After the examination of defence witnesses, the case will be slotted for final arguments, after which the court will pronounce its verdict.






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