It took 17 years and 48 extensions for the Liberhan Commission probing the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya to submit its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in June this year.
One of the country’s longest running inquiry commissions, which has cost the government nearly Rs 7 crore, the Liberhan Commission was set up to probe the sequence of events leading to the razing of the Babri mosque on December 6, 1992.
The report — in four volumes with an extensive set of annexure — will be placed in both houses of parliament along with the Action Taken Report (ATR) in the ongoing winter session, union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
During the entire tenure, the one-judge probe has been dogged by procedural delays, non-cooperation from key witnesses and even constant transfers during the early days of the commission’s functioning.
The commission’s lawyer, Anupam Gupta, dissociated himself from the one-man panel after eight years because of differences with Justice Liberhan.
Mr. Gupta’s relations with the judge had reportedly come under strain midway during the examination of L.K. Advani when the BJP leader was Home Minister. Mr. Advani lost his cool and lodged a protest with Justice Liberhan who in turn asked Mr. Gupta to tone down his cross-examination.
Though Mr. Gupta persisted, being the commission’s lawyer, he gradually began to lean away from the panel in 2007 and has not spoken to the judge in the last six months.
The commission recorded statements of scores of politicians from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including senior leaders Mr. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Kalyan Singh and Bharatiya Jan Shakti party chief Uma Bharati. Several members of the Congress and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were also questioned.
Besides identifying those who played a role in the destruction of the 16th century mosque, the commission is expected to state why and how the demolition happened.