No quick decision to case in sight

No quick decision to case in sight

Entangled in controversies from the very beginning

While the case in the Rae Bareli court has been proceeding at a snail’s pace and till date only six witnesses have deposed on behalf of the CBI, the trial of a similar case in a special court in Lucknow has not even started. There are nine main witnesses, besides many others, who will be deposing for the CBI. The witnesses included the then Ram Janambhoomi police station in-charge, the CRPF deputy commandant posted at Ayodhya and other officials.

The then inspector with the Local Intelligence Unit, Ram Bahadur Mishra, will be deposing for the CBI on the next date of hearing of the case on July 17.

The case in which BJP leaders L K Advani, M M Joshi, Vinay Katiyar, former Union minister Uma Bharti, VHP leaders Ashok Singhal, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya and Sadhvi Ritambhara are accused is being heard by the Rae Bareli special court.

A similar case involving over 35 other accused is pending trial in a Lucknow special court.

The Allahabad HC had stayed the proceedings at the Lucknow court.

The Babri Masjid demolition case had been embroiled in legal controversies from the very beginning, which resulted in a delayed trial against the main accused persons, according to legal experts here. Two separate FIRs had been registered at the Ram Janambhoomi police station on December 6, 1992, soon after the structure was demolished. While the first FIR was against unidentified “karsevaks,” the second included the names of bigwigs like Advani, Joshi, Singhal and others. The cases were transferred to the special CBI court in Lucknow and the agency clubbed the two FIRs and filed a composite chargesheet.

The proceedings against Advani and seven others were later dropped by the special court after Allahabad HC quashed the notification of the UP government for transferring the trial of the second FIR in the special court on the ground that the UP government had not obtained its prior permission.

The CBI has challenged the trial court order in the High Court. The special court in Rae Bareli had framed charges against Advani and seven other accused in the matter.

Another case, the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid Title suits, is currently being tried in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad HC. This case has been pending trial since 1961. “A judgment in the case is expected by the end of 2009,” according to the Sunni Central Waqf Board lawyer Zafaryab Jilani.

“The court is making efforts to conclude the arguments from both sides in three months.

A judgement can be expected after that,” Jilani said.

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