The Allahabad High Court will hear on Wednesday a plea challenging the Special CBI court's verdict acquitting all 32 accused, including BJP veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, in the Babri mosque demolition case. The petition, filed on January 8 by Ayodhya residents Haji Mahmood Ahmad and Syed Akhlaq Ahmad, who claim to be witnesses of the trial will be heard by the Lucknow bench of the high court today.
Their counsel is the executive member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board Zafaryab Jilani, who was also the convener of the Babri Masjid Action Committee. While filing the petition, Jilani had said the two Ayodhya residents moved court because the CBI has not yet appealed against the Special court's September verdict.
The trial judge had refused to accept newspaper clippings and video clips as evidence because the originals were not produced before the court. He also observed that the CBI was unable to produce any evidence that the accused had a mutual assent with the `kar sevaks’ who demolished the structure.
The petitioners contended that the CBI court committed an error in acquitting the accused despite having ample evidence on record. “The trial judge did not appreciate the evidence of conspiracy in the right perspective,” their petition said. The petitioners have sought that the record from the trial court summoned, its verdict set aside, and all the 32 accused be held guilty and punished accordingly.
Prominent leaders and politicians including former deputy prime minister LK Advani, the then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, former Union ministers Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti and Ram Janmaboomi Teerth Kshetra Trust president Nritya Gopal Das were among those acquitted by the lower court in the contentious Babri Masjid demolition case.
The Babri mosque was demolished on December 8, 1992, by a group of kar sevaks who believed that the 16th-century structure stood at the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. In November 2019, a Supreme Court ruling on the Babri-masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute paved the way for the construction of the Ram temple at the site. Meanwhile, the CBI court continued to hear a separate case related to the destruction of the mosque.