NEW DELHI, Aug 23: The Supreme Court Friday asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to pass orders within two weeks on 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.
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.
The top court had said that the extension of tenure of the special judge, who is set to retire on September 30, will only be for the purpose of concluding the trial and delivering the verdict in the case.
During the extended tenure, he will remain under the administrative control of the Allahabad High Court, the court had said. (PTI)
Besides Advani, Joshi and Bharti, the accused against whom conspiracy charge was invoked in the case by the Supreme Court on April 19, 2017, include 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.
The top court had held that Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, during whose tenure as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh the disputed structure was razed, was entitled to immunity under the Constitution as long as he remains in gubernatorial position.
On April 19, 2017, the apex court had ordered day-to-day trial to be concluded in two years in the 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.
The court had termed the Allahabad High Court’s February 12, 2001 verdict dropping conspiracy charge against Advani and others as “erroneous”.
Before the 2017 verdict of the apex court, there were two sets of cases relating to the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992 going on at Lucknow and Raebareli.
The trial of first case involving unnamed ‘karsevaks’ was going on in a Lucknow court, while the second set of cases relating to the eight VVIPs were going on in a Raebareli court. (PTI)