New Delhi: A special CBI court has acquitted all 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, including former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani, former Union ministers Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh.

Special judge Surendra Kumar Yadav had asked for all the accused to be present in court. However, only 26 of the accused were present, while Advani, Joshi, Bharti and Singh were not. While the Advani and Joshi were excused due to their age and concerns that they may contract COVID-19, Bharti is in AIIMS after she tested positive for the coronavirus. Nritya Gopal Das too was not present in the CBI special court. They did, however, attend the proceedings via a video link.

According to LiveLaw, the judge said that the demolition was not pre-planned and the accused persons were “trying to stop the mob and not incite them”. He added that there was not enough evidence against the accused and that the court cannot probe the authenticity of the audio and video evidence provided by the CBI.

“Those who climbed on the dome, they are the anti-social elements,” the judge observed.

The Supreme Court had fixed September 30 as the deadline for the trial court to pronounce its judgement in the nearly three-decade-old case.
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