SC seeks report from district judge on trial
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday sought a report in sealed cover from a lower court judge on how he intended to complete the trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case involving BJP veterans L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti within the April 2019 deadline.
A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Indu Malhotra also issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on a plea of trial court judge S K Yadav, who is adjudicating the Babri Masjid demolition case.
Maintaining that his promotion to the post of district judge was due, Yadav has sought a direction of the court to this effect.
The bench told the counsel for Yadav that it was issuing notice on the plea. “We also issue notice for a report to be presented in a sealed cover as to in what manner is the district judge going to complete the trial with the specified time limit,” the bench said.
Yadav had moved the top court after his promotion was stayed by the Allahabad High Court on the ground that the apex court had directed him to complete the trial.
On April 19 last year, the apex court had said BJP stalwarts Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharti would be prosecuted for serious offence of criminal conspiracy in the politically- sensitive 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case and ordered day-to-day trial to be concluded in two years, that is April 19, 2019.
Besides BJP leaders Advani, Joshi and Bharti, conspiracy charges were dropped against Kalyan Singh (currently the Governor of Rajasthan), Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore (both have since died).
The CBI had charge-sheeted Advani and 20 others under various sections of the IPC.
It had subsequently invoked charges under section 120B (criminal conspiracy), which was quashed by the special court whose decision was upheld by the high court.
While upholding the special court’s order, the high court had said the CBI at no point of time, either during the trial at Rae Bareily or in its revision petition, had ever stated that there was offence of criminal conspiracy against the leaders. (PTI)