NEWS: Babri Masjid demolition case: LK Advani deposes via video link, says no hand in the conspiracy

By Legal Wires 9 Minutes Read

BJP leader Shree L.K Advani got his statement recorded before a special CBI court in the case of 1992 Babri mosque demolition. Mr. Advani denied his involvement in the conspiracy of demolishing the structure.

The statement of the 92-year-old (Mr. L.K. Advani) former deputy prime minister was recorded via video conferencing in the court of special Judge SK Yadav. Mr. Advani was represented by his attorney Vimal Kumar Srivastava, KK Mishra and Abhishek Ranjan present in the court.

From the CBI side lawyers Lalit Singh, P Chakravarti and RK Yadav were also present.

Majorly, the former deputy Prime Minister of India had made it clear regarding his clean hands in the conspiracy along with ‘Kar sevaks’ to demolish the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. He pleaded and averted that he was completely innocent and was pulled into the matter due to political reasons.

Advani also exclaimed that the investigation was conducted under the influence of political pressure and cannot be treated as a fair investigation.

Indeed, just to clarify with the readers that the dispute in which it was decided that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya is a different issue and nature of dispute. Demolition of Masjid is totally a different issue and the proceedings are different than of that. The decision of this case would not hamper or prejudice the decided matter.

The special judge put forth many  questions to Advani and he answered them very cautiously, denying every allegation of conspiracy and arguing there was no occasion to make him stand on trial.

As the judge narrated to him the contents of some video clippings, newspaper reports and other evidence relating to the incident in 1992, Advani shrugged them off, saying they were totally false and produced in the court due to political influence and ideological inclination.

When the judge referred to evidence regarding his alleged provoking speeches to Kar sevaks, the BJP leader told him that the evidence was false and the investigators included the video cassettes and newspapers for political malevolence and under political impact.

The edition carried news relating to call for Bharat Bandh by the leaders of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other organisations in protest against his arrest.

The edition also carried Shiv Sena leader Balasaheb Thackeray’s statement that ‘Bandh will be peaceful’. Even then, some Kar sevaks succeeded in climbing on the disputed structure and damaged it.

“Except the fact of the arrest, other deposition is false and the same had been included in the investigation due to political malice and ideological differences giving the facts a colour,” Advani replied.

His deposition began at around 11 a.m. as he appeared in the court online from Delhi along with his lawyer Mahipal Ahluwalia.

After the recording of his statement was completed, the judge asked his office to send a copy of it to CBI’s Delhi office which would get Advani’s signature on it and send it back to the court.

The CBI had earlier issued charge sheet to Advani along with others in the case. But the Allahabad High Court had discharged him from the case holding him innocent.

But on a CBI petition, the Supreme Court in 2017 directed him to face trial on the charges of conspiracy.

On Thursday, the special court had recorded the statement of BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi in the case.

Dubbing prosecution witnesses in the Babri mosque demolition case as “liars”, 86-year-old Joshi had asserted that he was innocent and implicated in the case by the then Congress government at the Centre.

The Babri mosque demolition trial is presently at the stage of recording of statements of 32 accused in the case under Section 313 of Code of Criminal Procedure during which they get an opportunity to refute the prosecution evidence against them.

Section 313. Power to examine the accused.

(1) In every inquiry or trial, for the purpose of enabling the accused personally to explain any circumstances appearing in the evidence against him, the Court-

(a) may at any stage, without previously warning the accused, put such questions to him as the Court considers necessary;

(b) shall, after the witnesses for the prosecution have been examined and before he is called on for his defence, question him generally on the case: Provided that in a summons- case, where the Court has dispensed with the personal attendance of the accused, it may also dispense with his examination under clause (b).

(2) No oath shall be administered to the accused when he is examined under sub- section (1).

(3) The accused shall not render himself liable to punishment by refusing to answer such questions, or by giving false answers to them.

(4) The answers given by the accused may be taken into consideration in such inquiry or trial, and put in evidence for or against him in any other inquiry into, or trial for, any other offence which such answers may tend to show he has committed.

The special court has been recording the statement of accused persons since July 4 under these provisions.

The mosque in Ayodhya was demolished on December 6, 1992, by ‘kar sevaks’ who claimed that an ancient Ram temple stood at the same site.

Advani and Joshi were among those leading the Ram temple movement at that time.

The court is conducting day-to-day hearing in the case to complete its trial by August 31 as directed by the Supreme Court and has already recorded statements of BJP stalwarts like Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharti.

Advani’s statement was recorded barely days before a grand groundbreaking event planned on August 5 for a Ram temple at Ayodhya.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a galaxy of political leaders, including Advani, have been invited to attend the event.

Last year, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court had ruled that the 2.77-acre land claimed by both Hindus and Muslims would be handed over to a government-run trust for the building of a temple.

The court had also announced a five-acre plot at another site in Ayodhya for Muslims.

In the instant case since it has been more than two-decades that case has not been yet decided. The Senior Leader clearly portrays an image that the investigations and trials can be manipulated under political influence; but what if currently his own party is being elected and is in power?

Legal Wires

Team @LegalWires

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