The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to pass orders within two weeks on the extension of tenure of the special judge conducting trial in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case, involving BJP veterans L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti, in Lucknow. A bench of justices R F Nariman and Surya Kant said a fresh letter has been written by the special judge on July 27 in which he had made five requests including providing him security. The bench asked senior advocate Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the state, to consider all the five requests within two weeks time saying these requests appears to be reasonable.
The apex court had on July 19 extended the special judge's tenure till the completion of trial and delivery of verdict in the case. However, the state government was yet to pass the order. He was also asked by the top court to deliver the verdict within nine months. Besides Advani, Joshi and Bharti, the other accused against whom conspiracy charge was invoked in the case by the Supreme Court on April 19, 2017, are former BJP MP Vinay Katiar and Sadhvi Ritambara. Three other high-profile accused Giriraj Kishore, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal and Vishnu Hari Dalmia died during trial and the proceedings against them have been abated.
On April 19, 2017, the top court had ordered a day-to-day trial to be concluded in two years in the politically sensitive 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case. While dubbing the demolition of the medieval era monument as a "crime" which shook the "secular fabric of the Constitution", it had allowed the CBI's plea on restoration of criminal conspiracy charge against the VVIP accused.