Defence counsel fails to give argument in Babri case

Court expresses concerns over defence counsels not submitting arguments in Babri Masjid demolition case

Babri Masjid before the demolition. Credit: PTI Photo

A special CBI court on Friday expressed serious concerns over failure of defence counsels to submit their written arguments in the 1992 Babri mosque demolition case despite repeated opportunities given to them.

It granted them the last opportunity to file the written arguments by August 31 and make oral submissions if they wanted to or their chances would be closed.

Special Judge S K Yadav said there are 32 accused in the case.

The Supreme Court has fixed September-end as the deadline for conclusion and delivery of judgment.

"The court has to deal with evidence of 351 CBI witnesses and about 600 exhibits, which is bound to take considerable time and as such things cannot be allowed to cause delay at the arguments stage," the judge said.

The court had earlier granted time to the defense counsels on August 21 and 24. It had fixed for Friday, but again more time was sought by the defence counsels.

The CBI has already filed a 400-page written argument.

They include former deputy prime minister L K Advani, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, BJP leaders M M Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiar, Sadhvi Rithambara and Sakshi Maharaj, besides Ram Teerth Kshetra Trust secretary Champat Rai.

The trial is at the verge of conclusion and is at the stage of arguments.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has submitted its arguments to which the defense counsels have to rebut by filing their own written arguments.

Once the arguments stage is over, the court would deliver its judgment.

The Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished on December 6, 1992, by 'kar sevaks' who claimed that an ancient Ram temple stood at the same site.

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