A special CBI court in Lucknow on Thursday recorded the statement of veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case through video conference.
After the deposition, Joshi’s lawyer Abhishek Ranjan said, “In his statement, he (Murli Manohar Joshi) said that false evidence has been collected against him and he is being falsely implicated in the case. Joshi told the court there that was no conspiracy in the (demolition) incident.”
Ranjan added that the prosecuting agency, the CBI, has been directed to get the signature of Joshi on documents carrying his statement and submit them to the court. The 87-year-old, whose statement was recorded in the presence of his advocate Mahipal Ahluwalia, is the second accused in the case who deposed through video conference. On Tuesday, the court recorded the statement of Ram Chandra Khatri, who is lodged at Sonipat jail in Haryana, through video conference.
Former deputy PM Lal Krishna Advani (92) is likely to record his statement Friday through video conference.
The mosque in Ayodhya was demolished on December 6, 1992, by ‘kar sevaks’ who claimed that an ancient Ram temple stood at the same site. Advani and Joshi were among those leading the Ram temple movement at that time.
Since June 5, the special CBI court has been recording the statements of the accused under CrPC section 313 after it completed the examination of 354 prosecution witnesses in the case.
Under Section 313 of the CrPC, the judge questions the accused on the basis of the evidence put before the court during the trial, and the accused is given an opportunity to refute the allegations levelled against him.
So far, the court of Special Judge S K Yadav has recorded statements of 29 accused in the case. Of the total 49 accused, 17 have died. The court is yet to record the statement of three persons, including Advani. While Satish Pradhan has tested positive for coronavirus, Om Prakash Pandey is untraceable, according to the prosecution. The court is conducting the day-to-day to complete its trial by August 31 as directed by the Supreme Court.
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