The Supreme Court on Friday told a special Central Bureau of Investigation court that the judgement in the Babri Masjid demolition case must be delivered within nine months, PTI reported. Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are parties to the case.
A bench of Justices RF Nariman and Surya Kant ruled that the recording of the evidence in the case should be completed within six months. The court also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to pass appropriate administrative orders to extend the tenure of CBI court judge Sirendra Kumar Yadav, who is conducting the trial. The judge is due to retire on September 30. On Monday, Yadav had requested the Supreme Court for a six-month extension to complete proceedings in the case.
The court said the extension of tenure would only be for the purpose of delivering the verdict in a time-bound manner. During the extended tenure, Yadav will remain under the administrative control of the Allahabad High Court.
On April 19, 2017, the top court had ordered day-to-day trial in the case, and said it should be concluded within two years. The court had also restored criminal conspiracy charges against Advani and Joshi along with Vinay Katiar, Sadhvi Ritambara, Vishnu Hari Dalmia. It also restored charges against several other Hindutva leaders who too had been acquitted in the case.
Three other high-profile accused – Giriraj Kishore, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal and Vishnu Hari Dalmia died – during trial and the proceedings against them were abated.
On December 6, 1992, the mosque in Ayodhya was demolished by lakhs of Hindutva activists who had gathered at the site from across the country. According to them, the mosque stood on land that was the birthplace of Hindu deity Ram. The incident triggered communal riots across the country.