Allahabad HC reserves judgement in Babri demolition case on maintainability of appeal against acquittal ordertext_fields
The 32 people accused of hatching the criminal conspiracy that led to the destruction of the Babri Masjid mosque on December 6, 1992, including well-known BJP figures L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati, and Kalyan Singh, were all found not guilty by the Special CBI Court in Lucknow today. The Allahabad High Court has reserved its judgement on whether the criminal appeal against that decision can be maintained. Following the conclusion of today's hearing, the verdict was reserved by the justices Ramesh Sinha and Saroj Yadav.
In essence, the case is an appeal against the Special CBI Judge S K Yadav's judgement, which ruled that the mosque's demolition was not planned and was not supported by a criminal conspiracy and was given on September 30, 2020.
Two Ayodhya residents who claimed to have seen the disputed building demolished on December 6, 1992, Haji Mahmood Ahmad and Syed Akhlaq Ahmad, have filed the current case. Additionally, they stated in the plea that they were the incident's victims.
The plea was initially submitted in 2021 as a criminal revision plea, but on July 18, 2022, when it was scheduled to be heard by a single judge, Senior Counsel Syed Farman Ali Naqvi (for the revisionist/appellant) argued before the court that this was an error and they ought to have instead filed a criminal appeal, Live Law reported.
He further argued that this court might treat the revision plea as the revisionists' appeal when using the authority granted to it by section 401(5) of the Crpc. The Court had ordered that the revision plea be treated as an appeal under section 372 Cr.P.C. after taking this argument into account and hearing from Vimal Kumar Srivastava, counsel for the respondent-State, and Shiv P. Shukla, counsel for the C.B.I.
The arguments offered by the alleged Victims
The second appellant (Syed Akhlaq Ahmad) made a point of arguing that he is both a victim as well as a witness to the occurrence in question because his home and other belongings were set on fire.
"The appellants have not only suffered loss of their historical place of worship known as Babri Masjid but have also suffered great financial loss on account of the destruction of their houses which were not only damaged and looted by the offender and their collaborators but their houses were also put on fire and most of the belonging of their houses had also been destroyed on account of the arson and loot of their houses," the rejoinder submitted by them reads.
The victims also claimed that the CBI, a renowned agency for criminal case investigation, had looked into the incident, but that when the defendants in the case were found not guilty, the CBI opposed the current appeal as if it were the defendants' attorney.
"The agency has adorned the role of defence on behalf of accused persons and the victims were left to accomplish the job of prosecution despite being victims having no means and help from any one neither the State nor the Police nor the CBI," the alleged victims have submitted.