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HC rejects plea against acquittal of Advani and other accused in Babri mosque case

Allahabad Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea against the acquittal of 32 suspects, including former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani in the case of demolishing Babri Mosque on maintainability grounds.

A Lucknow court, Ramesh Sinha and Saroj Yadav, has ordered the appeal by two residents of Ayodhya – Haji Mahmood Ahmad and Syed Akhlaq Ahmad.

The other leaders whose acquittals have been challenged include the then Prime Minister of Uttar Pradesh Kalyan Singh, senior BJP leaders MM Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and Sadhvi Ritambhara.

The duo argued in the petition that they were witnesses in the trial of the accused and “victims” of the demolition of the disputed structure.

In its appeal, the state government and the CBI had emphasized that the two appellants were not complainants or victims in the case and as such cannot appeal the court’s ruling as foreign nationals.

After hearing the arguments of the parties, the bank reserved its order on 31 October.

The Babri Mosque was demolished by ‘karsewaks’ on December 6, 1992. After a long legal battle, the special CBI court ruled on the criminal trial on September 30, 2020 and acquitted all the suspects.

The judge at first instance had refused to believe newspaper clippings and video clips as evidence, since the originals had not been produced, while the entire structure of the case was based on these pieces of evidence.

The trial judge also ruled that the CBI could not provide any evidence that the accused met with karsewaks who vandalized the structure.

Contrary to the findings of the court, the appellants argued that the court erred in not convicting the defendants, even though sufficient evidence was available.

In the ground of appeal, the appellants insisted that the judgment of 30 September 2020 be set aside.

On September 5, the CBI had submitted a written provisional objection against the maintenance of the notice of appeal. The appellants subsequently submitted their reply to the court and concluded their argument.

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