Babri mosque demolition trial: Manohar Joshi likely to depose on Thursday, Advani on Friday
Lucknow, July 22: A special CBI court holding the 1992 Babri mosque demolition trial is likely to record the statement of 86-year-old BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi through video conference on Thursday. Special Judge S K Yadav earlier on Monday, while slating July 24 for recording the statement of former deputy prime minister LK Advani, 92, had also decided to record Joshi’s statement on July 23.
The Babri mosque demolition trial is presently at the stage of the recording of statements of 32 accused in the case under Section 313 of CrPC during which they also get an opportunity to refute the prosecution evidence against them. The court is conducting a day-to-day hearing in the case to complete its trial by August 31 as directed by the Supreme Court.
BJP leader Uma Bharti had appeared in person earlier this month before the court to make her depositions in the case. In her testimony, she had accused the then Congress-led central government of implicating her in the case due to political vendetta. The mosque in Ayodhya was demolished on December 6, 1992 by ''kar sevaks'' who claimed that an ancient Ram temple had stood on the same site.
Advani and Joshi were leading the Ram temple movement at that time. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Satish Pradhan, who was slated to depose in the case on Wednesday, failed to appear before the court because he has tested positive for COVID-19 and was advised to take complete rest in isolation.
Considering Pradhan’s ailment, the court fixed July 28 as the next date for his deposition. The court also issued an order for the attachment of accused Om Prakash Pandey’s property. He was declared a proclaimed offender earlier by the court after repeated non-bailable warrants issued to arrest him could not be executed. Pandey is said to have become a seer 15-16 years ago and his whereabouts are not known, the CBI had told the court earlier.