Babri demolition: 25 years later judicial verdict still long way off

Babri demolition: 25 years later judicial verdict still long way off

The hearing of the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid tittle suits may have begun in the Supreme Court, raising hopes of an early settlement of the vexed issue but the progress in the mosque demolition case remains tardy.

A judicial verdict seems a long way off even 25 years after the disputed structure was razed  by thousands of karsevaks on December 6, 1992, in Ayodhya.

Currently, the prosecution's witnesses are deposing before the special CBI court, after which the defence would be presenting their witnesses.  

The lawyers associated with the case say that there are 196 prosecution witnesses in all, who would be deposing. After their deposition, many of them may also be cross-examined by the defence lawyers, taking up more time. So far more than 60 prosecution witnesses have deposed.

Many of those, who were main plaintiffs in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suits, including the oldest litigant Hashim Ansari, Mahant Ramchandra Paramahans Das and  Mahant Bhaskar Das, have expired.  

Legal experts opine that an early verdict in the demolition case may not be possible in view of the complications associated with the matter.

''The apex court order setting a time limit and daily hearing will, however, expedite things,'' remarked a lawyer.

Conspiracy charge

The special court has already framed criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders L K Advani, Uma Bharti and Murli Manohar Joshi for their role in the demolition.

The Supreme Court had earlier restored the criminal conspiracy charge against Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharti  and transferred  the trial from the Raebareli special court to Lucknow. It also ordered that the trial of the case would be held on a daily basis.

The apex court may have directed the special CBI court here to hold daily hearing of the case and dispose it within two years, but experts say it may be difficult to deliver a verdict within the set time frame though not impossible.

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