Babri Masjid demolition verdict next in line

Senior BJP leaders, including L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh, are accused persons.

As curtains fell on the decades-old Ayodhya Title suits, the next in line is the verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition cases in which several senior BJP leaders, including L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh, are accused persons.

The cases, which pertained to the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, by thousands of 'karsevaks', were being heard on a daily basis by a special CBI judge here.

Ayodhya Verdict Live

According to the lawyers representing some of the defendants in the case, the trial of the case was likely to be concluded in the next few months.

The lawyers said that a majority of witnesses in the cases had already been examined. 

Former Rajasthan governor and senior BJP leader Kalyan Singh was the last person against whom charges were framed in the demolition cases. There was a delay in the framing of charges as Singh enjoyed constitutional immunity from prosecution owing to his position as the governor of Rajasthan.

An indication that a verdict might soon be announced was dropped, when the special judge, who was hearing the matter, was given an extension of six months as he was scheduled to superannuate on September 30 this year.

In April 2017, while hearing a petition, the apex court had directed the special CBI court to complete the trial in two years.

Soon after the demolition of the disputed structure two FIRs were registered at Ram Janmabhoomi police station in Ayodhya against unidentified 'karsevaks', Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and BJP leaders.

Forty-seven other FIRs were also registered later.

The CBI, which was handed over the investigation of the cases, filed a single charge-sheet in all the cases against 40 accused persons. The Allahabad high court, upon being approached by the BJP leaders, ordered to drop proceedings against them as the state government had not issued fresh notification transferring the trial of FIR no 198 in which their names had found mention to the special CBI court. 

Another reason behind the delay was that the cases were being heard separately at Raebareli and Lucknow. The supreme court later clubbed all the cases and ordered that they would be heard at Lucknow. It also set aside the HC order for dropping of charges against some BJP leaders.

The lawyers, associated with the cases, said that an early verdict could now be expected as the matter was being heard on a daily basis.

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