Babri Mosque Case: CBI Files Objection In High Court Against Plea Challenging Acquittal

Two Ayodhya residents have appealed that the trial court's verdict acquitting the accused be set aside and all accused be held guilty.

Babri Mosque

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday objected to a petition in the Allahabad High Court that challenges the acquittal of all accused in the 1993 Babri Mosque demolition case. 

The CBI has argued that the two petitioners were not the victims in the case and hence did not have the right to file the present appeal against the acquittal.

The Babri Mosque was demolished by karsevaks on 6 December 1992. The accused that were all acquitted included top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders LK Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati, and Kalyan Singh. 

The petitioners, Ayodhya residents Haji Mahmood Ahmad and Syed Akhlaq Ahmad, argued that the trial court had made an error in its verdict as ample evidence was on record. 

Notably, the trial judge had refused to believe newspaper cuttings and 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.

The grounds for not accepting video evidence was that the CBI never sent video cassettes to forensic laboratories to ascertain their veracity.

The petitioners had said, "The trial judge did not appreciate the evidence of conspiracy in the right perspective."

The CBI on Monday submitted objections on the maintainability of their criminal appeal. A bench of justices Ramesh Sinha and Renu Agrawal of the Allahabad High Court fixed 26 September for the next hearing on the appeal.

Earlier, the appellants had filed a revision petition against the acquittal but Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh had held that it was not maintainable under Section 372 of CrPC, which deals with the provision of appeals in criminal cases. On request of the petitioners, the court had directed its office to convert and treat it as a criminal appeal. Accordingly, the criminal revision was converted into a criminal appeal and listed before the appropriate division bench.

The appellants said that they were witnesses in the trial and were victims owing to the demolition of the disputed structure.

In their petition, the appellants have urged the high court to set aside the judgment of September 30, 2020 and hold all the 32 accused guilty. 

(With PTI inputs)