Verdict of the case of Babri Masjid in April?

LUCKNOW: The CBI Special Court in Lucknow is likely to give a verdict in the case of the demolition of Babri Masjid, 27, in April 2020.

It was on December 6, 1992 that Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was allegedly demolished by hundreds of kar sevaks.

The prosecution, CBI, is expected to complete the presentation of witnesses for December, as indicated by the Supreme Court.

The criminal trial involves several top BJP leaders. Former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, former CM UP of Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiar, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Ram Vilas Vedanti and 25 others are charged in the case.

As of now, the CBI is presenting evidence against Kalyan Singh, who was in CM when the mosque was demolished.

The court had filed charges against 48 people in total. Of these, 16 defendants, including Bal Thackarey and Ashok Singhal, have died.

The case was filed at Ayodhya Ramjanmabhoomi police station 27 years ago. He later moved to the CBI court in Lucknow. The trial began only in 2005.

While 1,026 witnesses were included in the case, to date, only 348 have registered their statements.

Lead attorney MM Haq, who is helping the prosecution (CBI), said: Among those who have registered their statements are Haji Mahboob, IPS officer Anju Gupta and journalists Mark Tully, Sheetla Singh and Suman Gupta.

The trial is expected for March, as a special CBI judge listening to the Surendra Kumar Yadav case obtained an extension from the Supreme Court until March 31 after his retirement on September 30, Haq added.

Kalyan Singh was exempted from trial because he was the governor of a state, but was summoned in September after his term ended, Haq said.

In April 2017, the Supreme Court had ordered the court to complete the trial within two years. However, the judge had sought more time, citing the large number of witnesses.

In July 2019, the SC ordered the special court to terminate the trial within nine months.

After CBI presents witnesses, the court will summarize the evidence and inform the defendant. From then on, the defendant can present his witnesses and evidence. After it is cross-checked, the court will listen to the oral arguments of the parties and issue its ruling.