27 years on, after the Ayodhya verdict, another related case may get judgement
New Delhi: After the Supreme Court (SC) passes Ayodhya verdict today, which is one of India's most sensitive and significant cases -- another related case in the title dispute might see face of judgement from a Lucknow court soon after.
The second case pertains to the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, and the alleged criminal conspiracy behind it, News18 reported.
The matter has reached the final stages in a special CBI court, after 27 years of investigations and trial.
Out of the 49 people accused in the case, some have died and those still active also include people from Indian politics.
6 December, 1992. (Cases to FIR)
Minutes after demolition of the Babri mosque on December 6,1992, the first FIR (no. 197/92) was registered against unknown 'karsewaks' at 5:15 PM under sections 395, 397, 332, 337, 338, 295, 297, 153A of IPC and section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
A second FIR was filed 10 minutes later, (FIR no. 198/92 was registered under sections 153 A, 153 B, 505 of IPC against LK Advani, Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya and Sadhvi Ritambahra. This was the hate and provocative speech case.
Forty seven other FIRs were also registered in the days to come related to offfences of assault on media persons, looting valuables like cameras and reporting gadgets from them, etc. All FIRs were filed at Thana Ramjanmaboomi in Ayodhya.
27 August, 1993 (Cases to CBI)
The-then UP government decided to move all the 49 cases for CBI probe.
5 October, 1993
A single, consolidated chargesheet was filed by the CBI against 40 people in 49 cases in a special court of Lucknow.
11 January, 1996
The agency filed a supplementary chargesheet against nine other prominent people making the tally of accused 49.
Charges of criminal conspiracy
The chargesheet of the CBI argued that the demolition of the mosque was the result of a larger criminal conspiracy. New names were added in the list of the accused. The names included some of the bigwigs from RSS and BJP. A charge under section 120 (b) of criminal conspiracy was added.
After the chargesheet was filed, a trial was supposed to take place. However, the case got entangled in legal complexeties.
September 9, 1997
The special judge after hearing the petitioner and the defence counsel filed a case under section 120 (b) -- criminal conspiracy prima facie. The court said that formal changes would be made in the next eharing. Some of the accused move the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court against the lower court's decision to frame charges.. The matter kept lingering on.
February 12, 2001
Justice Jagdish Bhalla of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court passed a detailed order. No illegality was found in a joint single chargesheet for all the FIRs, since offences were allegedly committed in same course of action for accomplishing a conspiracy.
Taking cognizance of administrative lapse UP government's side, the high court upheld framing of charges against the 48 accused barring Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar and others.
May 4, 2001
The Lucknow court dropped proceedings against not just the original eight accused, but also against 13 others against the backdrop of HC order.
June 16, 2001
The CBI wrote to the UP government to rectify the error pointed out by the HC to issue a fresh notification to resume trial. The UP government then headed by chief minister Rajnath Singh decided not to issue any fresh notification.
Trial of 2003 in 2 different courts -- Lucknow and Raebareli
January 27, 2003
The CBI moved a petition in the designated court of Raebareli following legal deliberations. It requested the court to proceed with the trial of the case 198/92 related to hate speeches against Advani and others.
September 19, 2003
Special magistrate, Raebareli, discharged Advani in case 198/92 but framed charges against the remaining accused. Advani was then the deputy PM of India.
July 26, 2005
On July 26, 2005, the high court after hearing several review petitions filed against the Raebareli court's order of acquitting Advani, ordered re-framing of charges against him and all the other accused.
March 20, 2012
The CBI reached the Supreme court in 2011 and subsequently filed an affidavit on March 20, 2012 during the UPA 2 government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
An argument for common trial of 49 cases was made by the CBI on the following points:
1) General conspiracy by 49 accused to demolish the disputed structure.
2) Each of the accused took part in facilitating the fulfillment of the criminal conspiracy.
3) The 21 accused against who the charges for criminal conspiracy were dropped.
4) The 13 accused who were not being tried for any offences in any court of law were party to the conspiracy and demolition.
5) Thus, it was in the interest of justice, that all accused involved in the criminal conspiracy of demolition of the disputed structure should be tried at Special court at Lucknow.
April 19, 2017
After remaining pending for almost 5 years in the SC, a significant moment in the case came on April 19, 2017. The SC ruled against Allahabad HC which had dropped charges against LK Advani and 20 others. The trial of all cases was also brought back to the Lucknow court.
There has been a speedy hearing from 2017 onwards. Charges were framed and trial on the joint chargesheet began. The trial against Kalyan Singh was stopped as he became the governor of Rajasthan and held a constitutional office.
However, after he recently demitted office, a case against him was started again. A few months back on the directives of the Supreme Court, the special judge, Surendra Kumar Yadav, had also been given an extension till the time of completion of the hearing in the case.
Over the course of 27 years, several accused including political bigwigs like Bal Thackeray, Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, and others have died.
Out of the 300 witnesses that were questioned throughout the course of the hearing, 50 have passed away.
Senior advocate IB Singh, who had fought in defence of the several accused has said that the trial is in the final phase. He also pointed out several flaws right from the time the FIRs were filed in 1992.
''A few more witnesses are to be examined, mostly against Kalyan Singh. We expect completion of trial in the case in the days to come,' Singh said....