NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court of India has ruled on Friday that a judgment in the Babri Masjid demolition case against senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi, Kalyan Singh, and others should be delivered in nine months from now.
These senior BJP leaders were charged with criminal conspiracy for their alleged role in the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992.
The court had granted bail to all accused including Advani, Joshi, and Bharati in the case. Bail was granted against the submission of a personal bond of Rs 50,000 each.
In April 2017, the apex court had asked the special judge to complete the trial in two years. Now the SC has given a deadline stating that the trial must be finished in the next 9 months — going into February or March 2020 and said that the examination of witnesses and documents must be kept as short as possible.
A bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman observed on Friday that the trial court judge had made substantial progress in the trial so far. Therefore, extension for delivering the judgement had merit, reports IANS.
The Uttar Pradesh government told the Supreme Court that the tenure of the trial court judge shall be extended in view of his retirement scheduled on September 30.
Therefore, the trial will take at least six months more from the date of retirement.
The Supreme Court observed it wants the Special Judge to continue and deliver the judgement even if the trial takes two more years.
The court has asked the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary to file an affidavit in relation to compliance of its order within four weeks.
It has emphasized that the trial should be completed in six months and, based on it, a judgment should be delivered in three further months.
Babri Masjid was razed by Hindu zealots who had converged in Ayodhya as part of a movement by the BJP and Hindu outfits for Ram temple at the disputed site, on December 6, 1992.
Advani, Joshi and other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders were present at the spot when demolition was carried out by Hindu frenzied mob.
(With inputs from IANS)