Appointment of Babri Case Judge as Deputy of Anti-Corruption Watchdog in UP Raises Eyebrows

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Former CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav

Is this a reward for acquitting accused like Advani, Joshi, Kalyan Singh and Uma Bhati, ask critics

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – The appointment of a former CBI judge Surendra Kumar Yadav, who acquitted all 32 accused in Babri Masjid demolition case, including Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, as deputy of anti-corruption watchdog Lokayukta has raised eyebrows.

“Yadav was appointed as the third up-lokayukta by the Governor on April 6. On Monday, Yadav was administered the oath by Lokayukta Sanjay Mishra in the presence of other senior officers,” an official statement said.

Yadav is the one who, on September 30 last year, acquitted all the Babri demolition accused, including BJP veterans L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh.

The appointment of Yadav as up-lokayukta has faced criticism with many pointing to the conflict of interests.

Commenting on the issue, SQR Ilyas, member of Babri Action Committee, asked whether his appointment is a reward for the favourable judgment.

In its editorial, prominent news website The Print called it ‘bad optics’ and ‘murky politics’.

“This comes after former CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s Rajya Sabha nomination. Cooling off period notwithstanding, this raises questions about partisanship and conflict of interest in the judiciary,” said the edit.

Journalist Arvind Gunasekar pointed out that seven month after the Babri acquittal judgement, the judge got post-retirement job but the CBI did not decide to challenge the acquittal order.

Yadav , who was supposed to retire in 2019, was given an extension of one year by the Supreme Court in July that year for concluding the trial and for delivering judgment .

In his judgment, he said that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was not pre-planned and the accused persons were “trying to stop the mob and not incite them”.

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