New Delhi, Nov.23 (ANI): An incensed and highly agitated Justice M.Liberhan on Monday called on the media not to indulge in character assassination, and categoricaly refuted suggestions that he had leaked details of a commission report to the fourth estate.
When television and print media reporters asked him at his residence here whether he had leaked the report to the media, an angry Justice Liberhan said: "What do you mean by this? You all are questioning my character. I am not that kind of person. I did not leak the report to the media."
When asked whether he was sad about details of the commission's report in today's Indian Express, he said: "I am very sad."
He said that the media should refrain from character assassination, but added that everyone was free to go to the media to find out how the report was leaked in the first place.
Justice Liberhan's comments came shortly after Parliament adjourned for the day following opposition protests over the report appearing in the media before its tabling and approval in the house.
A section of the media on Monday reported that the Justice Liberhan Commission has named former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajapayee along with Leader of Opposition L.K.Advani and senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi as being responsible for spearheading the Karseva movement to demolish the the Babri Masjid in December 1992.
The Masjid was demolished by Karsevaks on December 6, 1992.
The report quoting the commission's report said the entire build-up to the demolition was meticulously planned and there was reportedly nothing to show that these leaders were either unaware of what was going on or were innocent bystanders to any wrongdoing.
The Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan Commission was set up by the then P.V.Narasimha Rao Government on December 16, 1992.
After 17 years and 42 extensions the commission submitted its report on June 30 this year.
The Union Home Ministry is reportedly giving final touches to the Action Taken Report (ATR). The ATR is likely to be placed before Parliament alongwith the Liberhan Commission's report in the current session.
Justice Liberhan has declined to comment on the news report, saying the Commission's report is with the government.
"My mouth is shut. I have not said anything to anybody," he said.
Home MInister P.Chidambaram said that the government will table the commission's report along with an Action Taken Report during the winter session of Parliament.
Former Liberhan Commission counsel Anupam Gupta said here on Monday that dragging the name of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition was an attempt to shift the focus from the role played by L.K Advani.
"I think that naming Vajpayee along with Advani may be an attempt to shift the focus from the later," Gupta told a private news channel.
"I am astonished over the indictment of Vajpayee along with Advani in the report," he said, adding that Vajpayee had no role to play in the incident.
"It is well known that it was Advani who nationalised the Ramjanmbhoomi Movement, he built the nationwide mass movement with his leadership skills," Gupta added.
Gupta also mentioned that, "The responsibility of the demolition also lies with the people who built the movement."
Commenting on the news report, Congress Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: "We cannot talk about a report which is not available. But one thing is clear, that for the last 17 years, the entire country knows that when such senior leaders were standing in proximity of the Babri Masjid, and action by of hordes of people was taking place, planned padyatras were taken across the country, destruction and mayhem was being done, then obviously there is a case to answer."
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy criticised the Congress Party for selectively leaking information to the media at politically opportune moments.
"Let the law of land prevail, but what is the report, what is the submission? This is all speculation. Our demand is, why these selective leakages, where is the report - let the country know about it. Why this hide-and-seek?" Rudy said.
"We know there are issues in Parliament which they want to duck. Please ask the Government why it is not placing the report in the house," he added. (ANI)