Babri Masjid Verdict: LK Advani Along With 32 Other Accused Proved Not Guilty

by Shatakshi Gupta

A special CBI court gave the verdict today in the criminal case of demolition of a disputed Babri-Masjid structure in Ayodhya 28 years ago.  The court acquitted 32 leaders, including the former Deputy Prime Minister, LK Advani, in this case. 

The judge, while delivering the judgement, said “ the evidence presented by the CBI was not strong enough. The Babri demolition incident was sudden, it was not pre-planned.”

Notably, a total of 49 people was accused in this case, out of which 17 have died already. These include Lallu Singh, MP from Faizabad, Braj Bhushan Sharan Singh, MP from Kaiserganj and Sakshi Maharaj from Unnao.

Earlier on September 16, CBI Judge Surendra Kumar Yadav had said in the order that all the 32 accused in the case have to be present in the court on the judgment day.  However, 6 accused including LK Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh did not reach the court. They were later connected to the court through video conferencing. 

Also read: The Long Journey Of Ayodhya Ram Mandir; Here Are The Important Milestones

A total of 26 accused were present in the court at the time of the verdict. With this case the tenure of Judge SK Yadav is also finished. He was scheduled to retire on 30 September 2019, but the Supreme Court extended his service till 30 September 2020. 

Who all were accused in the case?

 LK Advani, former Union Minister Murli Manohar Joshi, former UP CM Kalyan Singh, Vinay Katiyar, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Uma Bharti, Mahant Dharmadas, Dr. Ram Vilas Vedanti,  Champat Rai, Satish Pradhan, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Pawan Kumar Pandey, Lallu Singh, Prakash Sharma, Vijay Bahadur Singh, Santosh Dubey, Gandhi Yadav, Ramji Gupta, Braj Bhushan Sharan Singh, Kamlesh Tripathi, Ramchandra Khatri, Jai Bhagwan Goyal, Om Prakash Pandey  , Amar Nath Goyal, Jaibhan Singh Powaiya, Maharaj Swami Sakshi, Vinay Kumar Rai, Naveen Shukla, RN Srivastava, Acharya Dharmendra Dev, Sudhir Kumar Kakkar and Dharmendra Singh Gurjar were the accused in the Demolition case.

A special court was set up

The case was handed over to the CBI only 7 days after the demolition of the Babri Masjid.  The case was heard in different districts, after which the Allahabad High Court set up a special court in Lucknow for hearing in 1993.  The CBI then filed its joint charge sheet.  In this charge sheet, 49 names like Bal Thackeray, Nritya Gopal Das, Kalyan Singh, Champat Rai were added.