A special court will deliver the judgment on the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case at 10 am on Wednesday. CBI judge SK Yadav had on September 16 directed all the 32-surviving accused to remain present in the court on the day of the judgment.
Judge Yadav will start reading out the judgment at 10 am but accused L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are unlikely to be present. The other key accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case include BJP veteran Uma Bharti, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, Vinay Katiyar, and Sadhvi Rithambara. Champat Rai, the general secretary of the trust in charge of constructing the Ram temple, is also among those accused.
KK Mishra, who is representing 25 out of the 32 accused persons has said he has informed all his clients about the judgment date but is unsure who all will be present today.
Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh are currently hospitalised after they were infected with coronavirus. Therefore, it is most likely the two of them might not present in the court at the time of the pronouncement of the order.
Singh, during whose tenure as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh the disputed structure was demolished, was put on trial in September last year after his tenure as governor (of Rajasthan) came to an end.
The central agency produced 351 witnesses and 600 documents as evidence before the court. Charges were framed against 48 people, but 17 have died during the course of the trial.
The trial under the serious criminal conspiracy charges commenced against them after having been dropped by the trial court in 2001.
The charge of conspiracy is in addition to the existing charges against them for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion for which they are already facing trial. The accused are also facing charges of having made assertions "prejudicial to national integration and injuring or defiling a place of worship". The other charges against them include indulging in "deliberate and malicious" acts intended to outrage religious feelings, uttering statements leading to public mischief, rioting and unlawful assembly. The CBI argued that the accused conspired and instigated 'kar sevaks' to demolish the 16th-century mosque.
However, the accused pleaded innocence maintaining that there is no evidence to prove their guilt and claimed they were implicated by the then Congress government at the Centre as a political vendetta.
The Babri Masjid was demolished in December 1992 by kar sevaks who claimed that the mosque in Ayodhya was built on the site of an ancient Ram temple.
In a significant judgment last year, the Supreme Court allotted the disputed site in Ayodhya for construction of a Ram temple, while calling the demolition of the mosque a violation of the rule of law. An alternative five-acre site was marked in the city for building a mosque.