Babri demolition case: Advani records his statement

L. K. Advani   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Senior BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani recorded his statement before a special CBI court here on Friday in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

Mr. Advani, who is accused of criminal conspiracy, recorded his statement through video conferencing for 4 hours and 30 minutes before Special CBI judge S.K. Yadav. The veteran BJP leader was asked over 100 questions, said his lawyer K.K. Mishra.

Mr. Advani denied the charges against him and when asked by the court why then was a case lodged against him, said they were due to “political reasons,” Mr. Mishra told The Hindu.

Mr. Mishra said the BJP leader did not deny his presence in Ayodhya on the day of the demolition. He said he arrived there for a kar seva, which had been allowed by the Supreme Court. He, however, asserted that he had no role in the demolition, nor did he participate in any act that could impact the unity and integrity of the nation.

Other accused

With this, Mr. Advani became the 31st accused to record his statement against the evidence presented by the prosecution. His long-time colleague and former BJP president Murli Manohar Joshi recorded his statement on Thursday. Kalyan Singh, who was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh when the mosque was demolished, and Uma Bharti, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, too had recorded their statements recently. 

Another accused Satish Pradhan will record his statement on August 6, as he is unwell, said Mr. Mishra.

The court passed orders to attach the property of accused Om Prakash Pandey, who did not appear before the court despite repeated summons, said the lawyer.

Charges restored

The Special CBI court framed charges of criminal conspiracy in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya against Mr. Advani and several others, most of them linked to the Sangh Parivar, in 2017. The Mughal-era mosque was razed to the ground by a frenzied mob of “kar sevaks” on December 6, 1992.

The Supreme Court had used its extraordinary constitutional powers under Article 142 to restore the criminal conspiracy charges framed against Mr. Advani and others in 2017, overruling the Allahabad High Court judgment dropping the charges. In 2010, the Allahabad HC had upheld a special CBI court’s decision in 2001 to drop the conspiracy charges against Mr. Advani and others.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 7:05:04 PM |

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