A Special CBI Court at Lucknow on Wednesday acquitted all 32 persons accused of hatching the criminal conspiracy behind the demolition of the Babri Masjid mosque on December 6, 1992.
The acquitted persons include prominent BJP leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati, Kalyan Singh etc.
Special CBI Judge S K Yadav, in his 2000-page verdict, held that the demolition of the mosque was not premeditated and that there was no criminal conspiracy behind it.
Further details of the verdict are awaited.
26 out of the 32 accused persons were physically present in the court today. Six accused persons including Advani, I, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati, Kalyan Singh appeared via video conferencing. Uma Bharati had tested positive for COVID-19 a few days ago.
The Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished in December 1992 by Hindu Kar Sevaks who claimed that the land on which the mosque was built was the birthplace of Hindu deity Ram.
The Supreme Court had extended the deadline for the trial court to complete the trial several times, with the last extension given on August 19, 2020.
On April 19, 2017, the Supreme Court Bench of Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman had restored the conspiracy charges against the accused by allowing an appeal filed by the CBI against the discharge given by the Allahabad High Court to them.
Invoking its extraordinary constitutional powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, the bench also transferred the pending separate trial in a Rae Bareilly Magistrate court and clubbed it with criminal proceedings in the Lucknow CBI Court.
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