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Babri verdict runs counter to SC judgment: Congress

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: September 30, 2020 19:27 IST
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The Congress on Wednesday said a special Central Bureau of Investigation court's decision to acquit all the accused in the Babri Masjid case runs counter to constitutional spirit and the 2019 Supreme Court judgment that described the demolition of the structure as an "egregious violation of the rule of law".

IMAGE: Babri mosque in Ayodhya. Photograph: PTI Photo

Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said every Indian who has innate faith in the Constitution and in the spirit of communal amity and brotherhood expects and urges the Central and state governments to file an appeal against the verdict delivered Wednesday.

The governments must follow the letter of the law and the Constitution without any "partiality and pre-meditated prejudice", Surjewala said, adding this is the true calling of rule of law and Constitution.

"The decision of the Special Court to acquit all the accused in Babri Masjid demolition case runs counter to Supreme Court judgment as also the constitutional spirit," he said.

The Supreme Court in its judgment on November 9 last year, pronounced by five judges, had clearly held that the demolition of Babri Masjid was a clear illegality and an "egregious violation of the rule of law", Surjewala told reporters.

 

"But the Special Court exonerated all the accused. It is clear that the decision of the Special Court runs counter to the decision of the Supreme Court of India," he said.

"The entire country witnessed a deep-rooted political conspiracy by the BJP-RSS and its leaders to destroy the country's communal amity and brotherhood for usurping power at any cost," he alleged.

The then BJP government of Uttar Pradesh was a "co-conspirator in the designed attack" on India's Constitutional ethos, Surjewala claimed.

"So much so that the Supreme Court was misled by filing a wrong affidavit on oath. It is only after detailed examination of all these aspects, facts and evidence that the Supreme Court held the demolition of Masjid to be an egregious violation of the rule of law," he said.

Reacting to the judgment by the special court, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel tweeted, "The Babri verdict is shocking, it goes contrary to principles of natural justice and even the SC's observation".

Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik said he was not surprised over the special court's verdict acquitting all accused in the Babri masjid demolition case.

"The court has given verdict in the case today. It was expected, and hence, we are not surprised," the Maharashtra minister said in a video message.

The minister said though the accused were acquitted for want of evidence, probe agencies had filed the case based on evidences only.

"Rath Yatra was taken out before December 6 (1992). The media of the country was present at the (mosque) site and documented the events. There were photos taken and videos captured. There are contents available on YouTube. But the court has given its verdict and we respect it," Malik said.

The NCP leader said it was unlikely that the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government will approach a higher court against the special CBI court's judgment as those who were acquitted include leaders of the saffron party.

Expressing outrage over the verdict, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi called it "obnoxious" and said the central agency should appeal against it.

Speaking to reporters, Owaisi in his reaction to the judgment said, "This judgment satisfies the collective consciousness of Hindutva and its followers and ideology".

"Was it a some sort of magic that on December 6 the masjid was demolished? Who called for the assembling of the people over there? Who made sure that they entered over there?" he asked.

Indian Union Muslim League supremo Panakkad Hyder Ali Shihab Thangal termed the verdict as "unfortunate" and opined that an appeal should be filed against the verdict.

Thangal said, "it is unfortunate that the CBI court in Lucknow acquitted all the accused in the case. The investigating agency should appeal against the verdict. Peace and communal harmony should be maintained."

IUML leader and MP P K Kunhalikutty also said an appeal should be moved against the judgment of the court.

"This verdict is unfortunate. An appeal should be moved against it. The whole world has seen that no one tried to prevent the demolition of the mosque," Kunhalikutty toldthe reporters.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M K Stalin alleged the CBI has failed to act fairly in the Babri mosque demolition case and that it has become a "caged parrot" of the BJP-led Centre.

Despite the Supreme Court's judgment that "the entire structure of the mosque was brought down in a calculated act of destroying a place of public worship," the CBI failed to prove the conspiracy in the case and it was a blow to the rule of law, he said.

Destroying any place of worship was injustice and a gross illegal act, Stalin said in a statement.

The CBI, which should have acted in an impartial and fair manner with a sense of caution, 'failed' to do so and "has become a caged parrot of the BJP-led Centre today, which is shameful," the DMK chief alleged.

Also, he accused the probe agency of "irresponsible and negligent attitude", claiming it relinquished its duty under the Criminal Procedure Code which would have long term consequences and was a cause of concern.

Meanwhile, senior lawyer and member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board Zafaryab Jilani said the verdict of a special court acquitting all the 32 accused in the Babri mosque demolition case would be challenged in the high court.

]There were hundreds of statements by the witnesses and in criminal cases these are very important, Jilani said, adding that among those who gave their statements were IPS officers and journalists who had said that the accused persons were sitting on the dias and inflammatory speeches were being given.

He also indicated that the board might also be a party.

Jilani claimed that when the structure fell down, there was celebration and sweets were distributed but the court was of the view that there was no conspiracy.

There were clear evidences under 153-A (promoting enmity, hatred between different communities), 153-B (assertion prejudicial to national integration) against Advani and others and yet they were acquitted, he further claimed.

All the 32 accused in the Babri mosque demolition case, including BJP veterans L K Advani and MM Joshi, were on Wednesday acquitted by the special CBI court in Lucknow which said there was no conclusive proof against them.

Delivering the much-awaited verdict in the 28-year-old case, CBI judge S K Yadav did not accept newspapers and video cassettes as evidence.

The case relates to the razing of the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, which triggered riots for several months leaving nearly 2,000 people dead across the country.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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