The Allahabad High Court on Monday directed that the revision petition filed against the acquittal of all 32 accused, including former deputy prime minister LK Advani and senior BJP leader M M Joshi, in the Babri mosque demolition case be treated as a criminal appeal.
The Lucknow bench of the high court also fixed August 1 as the next date of hearing.Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh said the revision petition by Ayodhya residents – Haji Mahmood Ahmad and Syed Akhlaq Ahmad – was not maintainable and directed that it be treated as criminal appeal.
The matter was earlier fixed for July 11, 2022 but the lawyers for the petitioners had sought an adjournment. The bench agreed to hear the matter Monday but cautioned the lawyers that it would not adjourn the hearing any further.
The two petitioners have alleged that they were witnesses in the trial against the accused and that they were also the victims of the violence.The Babri mosque was demolished by karsevaks on December 6, 1992.
After a long legal battle, the special CBI court on September 30, 2020 pronounced the judgment in the criminal trial and acquitted all the accused including Advani, former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh, senior BJP leaders MM Joshi, Uma Bharti and Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambhara and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh The trial judge had refused to believe newspaper cuttings, video clips as evidence as the originals of the same were not produced, while the entire edifice of the case rested on these pieces of documentary evidence.
The trial judge also had held that the CBI could not produce any evidence that the accused had a meeting of mind with karsevaks who demolished the structure.Assailing the findings of the trial court, the petitioners had pleaded that the court committed error in not convicting the accused as ample evidence was on record.
“The trial judge did not appreciate the evidence of conspiracy in the right perspective,” they claimed. The petition sought setting aside of the judgment of September 30, 2002.