LUCKNOW — The Allahabad High Court has dismissed a criminal appeal filed against the order of the Special CBI Court at Lucknow acquitting all 32 persons, including prominent BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh, etc accused of hatching the criminal conspiracy behind the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.
The bench of Justices Ramesh Sinha and Saroj Yadav dismissed the appeal after reserving the judgment on October 31.
The appeal had been filed by two Ayodhya residents, Haji Mehmood Ahmad and Syed Akhlaq Ahmad, who claimed to have witnessed the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992.
They had also claimed in the plea that they are the victims of the incident since their houses had been burnt.
The plea was originally filed in 2021 as a criminal revision plea, however, on July 18, 2022, when it came for hearing before a single judge, senior counsel Syed Farman Ali Naqvi, appearing for the revisionist/appellant, submitted before the court that due to an inadvertent mistake, the plea had been moved as a revision plea and they ought to have preferred a criminal appeal.
It was his further submission that in the exercise of the powers under section 401(5) CrPC, this court may treat the revision plea as the appeal of the revisionists.
Considering this submission and after hearing Shiv P. Shukla, the counsel for the CBI, and Vimal Kumar Srivastava, counsel for the respondent-state, the Court had directed that the revision plea be treated as an appeal under section 372 CrPC.
It was also argued by the victims that the CBI had investigated the case as it is a premier investigating agency, however, after the acquittal of the accused persons in the case, it was opposing the instant appeal as if the agency is representing the accused.
“The agency has adorned the role of defence on behalf of accused persons and the victims were left to accomplish the job of prosecution despite being victims having no means and help from any one neither the state nor the police nor the CBI,” the alleged victims had submitted. — IANS