The Supreme Court on Monday refused to extend the security of former CBI Special Judge Surendra Kumar Yadav, who had acquitted all 32 accused in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
While reviewing the judge’s request to continue his security cover, given the sensitivity of the case, a bench, headed by Justice R F Nariman and also comprising Justices Navin Sinha and Krishna Murari, said: “Having perused the letter, we don’t consider it appropriate to provide security.”
On September 30 in a 2,300-page order, Yadav had rejected evidence from photos, videos, and speeches of the accused, raised questions on the conclusions drawn by the prosecution, and referred to the possible involvement of Pakistani intelligence agencies and anti-social elements and terrorists disguised as kar sevaks who had entered the Babri site.
The order said there was no evidence that the accused had met “inside a room” to plan the razing of the mosque.
Also, the judge ruled that videos of the demolition were not sent for forensic examination, and negatives of the pictures taken on that day were not produced – they could not, therefore, be relied upon as evidence.
“All evidence present in documents was analysed. The crime against the accused could not be established,” Yadav said in his order, written in Hindi.
Read in Malayalam here.
Among those aquitted of conspiracy charges were the leading lights of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement that led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992: former Union ministers L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, and Uma Bharti, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Kalyan Singh, and former BJP MP Vinay Katiyar.
This was the last order passed by Yadav – he had retired last year, and had been on extension on the direction of the Supreme Court. The order came less than a year after a five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, gave the disputed land in Ayodhya to a trust for the building of a Ram temple. The Supreme Court had called the razing of the Babri Masjid illegal.
Last year, a five-judge Constitution bench of the apex court had ruled that the 2.77-acre land claimed by both Hindus and Muslims would be handed over to a trust for the building of a temple.
The apex court had also ordered allocation of five-acre land at another site in Ayodhya for building a mosque.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines