The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday told the Supreme Court that it had extended the tenure of special Central Bureau of Investigation court judge Surendra Kumar Yadav, who is conducting the trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case. Yadav had in July asked the top court for more time to conclude the trial in the case as he was due to retire on September 30.
A bench of Justices RF Nariman and Surya Kant examined the affidavit and office memo placed before them by the chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh.
Senior advocate Aishwarya Bhati, representing the state government, told the court that they had complied with the top court’s direction and extended the tenure of the special judge till he delivers the judgement in the case.
“We are satisfied that the needful has been done,” the court said while disposing the matter.
The court had told the state government in July to extend Yadav’s tenure till the completion of the trial but the Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party administration had not yet issued an order.
The court had 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 July 19, the Supreme Court told the special Central Bureau of Investigation court that the judgement in the Babri Masjid demolition case must be delivered within nine months. 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 case involves Bharatiya Janata Party veterans such as LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. The court had restored criminal conspiracy charges against Advani and Joshi. It also restored charges against several other Hindutva leaders who too had been acquitted in the case.
In its ruling, the court put down a number of directions, including that there will be no adjournments under normal circumstances, and that the judges hearing the case will not be transferred.
On December 6, 1992, the mosque in Ayodhya was demolished by lakhs of karsevaks who had gathered at the site from across the country. The incident had triggered communal riots across the country. The karsevaks had claimed that the land on which the mosque stood was the birthplace of Ram.
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