Special CBI court to pronounce verdict in Babri Masjid demolition case on 30 September; Advani, Uma Bharti, MM Joshi and Kalyan Singh directed to remain present in court

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The special CBI court will deliver its verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition case on 30 September. Special CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav has directed all 32 accused including BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh to be present in the court on 30 September.

Hindutva zealots led by BJP leaders had demolished the 16th-century mosque in Ayodhya on 6 December 1992. The demolition had triggered countrywide pogroms leaving thousands of people, mostly Muslims, dead. The trial, which lasted for 28 years, was conducted under Sections 147/153-A/153-B/295/295-A/505 IPC read with Sections 149 and 120B IPC.

Two separate FIRs were filed in the matter but the case was transferred to the special court of the CBI.

Judge SK Yadav was scheduled to retire on 30 September 2019 but was given an extension to complete the trial.

The Supreme Court had extraordinarily restored the criminal conspiracy charge against  Advani, Joshi, and Bharti in the case in April 2017. The apex court had also said that the trial against the accused will take place in a time-bound manner together with another case currently underway against karsevaks.

The appeals were filed by one Haji Mahboob Ahmad and the CBI against the dropping of conspiracy charges against BJP leaders Advani, Joshi and 19 others for the demolition of the disputed medieval structure on 6 December 1992.

During the hearing, the bench had also said that the supplementary charge sheet was filed against eight persons but not against the 13 who were discharged.

Besides BJP leaders Advani, Joshi and Bharti, conspiracy charges were dropped against Kalyan Singh, the then Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore (both have since died).

Advani along with party colleagues like Uma Bharti and Murli Manohar Joshi were charged with making inflammatory speeches that motivated lakhs of right-wing volunteers or karsevaks to pull down the mosque in 1992.

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