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Babri Masjid Verdict LIVE Updates: All 26 accused except Advani, Joshi, Bharti and three others, arrive at special CBI court in Lucknow

CBI judge SK Yadav, who had directed all 32 accused to be present during the proceedings on Wednesday, has arrived at the court.

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Babri Masjid Verdict

Babri Masjid Verdict LIVE Updates: CBI judge SK Yadav, who had directed all 32 accused to be present during the proceedings on Wednesday, has arrived at the court

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Babri Masjid Verdict LATEST Updates: CBI judge SK Yadav, who had directed all 32 accused to be present during the proceedings on Wednesday, has arrived at the court.

All 27 accused have entered the court room and marked their attendance, except LK Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharti.

The charges of conspiracy are in addition to the existing charges against the accused of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Wednesday will deliver judgment in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case, in which Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veterans Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are among the accused.

The Mughal-era mosque was demolished almost 28 years ago on 6 December 1992, when the VHP-BJP-RSS combine led a Ram Janmabhoomi movement across several parts of the country and the 16th century structure was razed by a mob in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya town.

Some of the key accused, including former deputy prime minister LK Advani, former Union minister MM Joshi, former Union minister Uma Bharti and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, are likely to attend the proceedings through video conference because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Many of the accused are former or present Members of Parliament or members of State Legislatures.

Singh was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh when the mosque was demolished. He was put on trial in September 2019 after his tenure as governor (of Rajasthan) came to an end.

He was the only one among the accused to submit documentary evidence in his defence. None of the accused produced a witness in their defence. On the other hand, 351 prosecution witnesses, many of them journalists, were examined during the trial, Hindu reported.

“At present I am not in a position to say who will be present in court for the final judgment. I have informed all my clients about the judgment date (30 September). Who will be present in court will only be clear on the judgment day,” said KK Mishra, who is representing 25 out of the 32 accused persons.

All 32 accused are facing charges under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including criminal conspiracy, rioting , promoting enmity between different groups and unlawful assembly. Shiv Sena leader Satish Pradhan and Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirath Kshetra Trust chief Mahant Nritya Gopal Das are likely not to be present in court. Bharti and Singh have tested positive for COVID-19 and are hospitalised.

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With the Supreme Court setting 31 August as the deadline and later extending it by a month for the CBI court to give its verdict, the trial court started day-to-day hearing to complete the task in time.

The central agency produced 351 witnesses and 600 documents as evidence before the court. Charges were framed against 48 people, but 17 have died during the course of the trial.

The trial under the serious criminal conspiracy charges commenced against them after having been dropped by the trial court in 2001. The verdict was upheld by the Allahabad High Court in 2010, but the apex court ordered restoration of the conspiracy charge against them on 19 April, 2017.

The top court ordered daily hearing in the high profile case and directed the special judge to conclude it in two years.

The charge of conspiracy is in addition to the existing charges against them for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion for which they are already facing trial.

The accused are also facing charges of having made assertions “prejudicial to national integration and injuring or defiling a place of worship”.

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The other charges against them include indulging in “deliberate and malicious” acts intended to outrage religious feelings, uttering statements leading to public mischief, rioting and unlawful assembly.

The CBI argued that the accused conspired and instigated ‘kar sevaks’ to demolish the 16th century mosque. But the accused pleaded innocence maintaining that there is no evidence to prove their guilt and claimed they were implicated by the then Congress government at the Centre as a political vendetta.

The Babri Masjid was demolished in December 1992 by “kar sevaks” who claimed the mosque in Ayodhya was built on the site of an ancient Ram temple.

In a significant judgment last year, the Supreme Court allotted the disputed site in Ayodhya for construction of a Ram temple, while calling the demolition of the mosque a violation of the rule of law. An alternative five-acre site was marked in the city for building a mosque.

A ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction was held on 5 August and attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

With inputs from PTI

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, Ajanta News Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)

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