New Delhi: In a major development in 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case involving BJP veterans such as LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti, the Supreme Court on Friday extended the deadline for special CBI court Lucknow to deliver judgment in the politically sensitive matter till August 31, 2020. Also Read - 'Effective Steps Needed to Redeem Situation': SC Takes Suo Moto Cognisance of Migrants' Plight
A bench comprising Justices R F Nariman and Surya Kant asked the trial judge to conduct video-streaming of proceedings and ensure that the present deadline “is no longer breached”. Also Read - SC Allows Air India to Resume Non-Scheduled International Flights With Middle-seat Bookings For Next 10 Days
The extension of the deadline comes after the CBI judge sought more time from the apex court in wake of the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly 2,000 people so far. Also Read - Plea Moved in Supreme Court to Ban Zoom App After Complaints on Privacy Breach, Security Issues
“Having taken the letter dated May 6, 2020, into consideration, we extend the period to complete evidence and deliver judgment till August 31, 2020. We are cognizant of the fact that Shri Yadav is making all efforts in order that the trial reaches a just conclusion. However, given the original time frame and the extended time frame, the effort must now be to complete the proceedings and deliver judgment latest by August 31, 2020”, the bench said in its order.
Last year in July, the top court had asked the special judge to deliver the verdict within nine months, which was to end this April.
Apart from LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti, BJP lawmaker Vinay Katiar and Sadhvi Ritambara are also among the high-profile accused. Former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh is also one of the accused in the case.
Other accused Giriraj Kishore, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal and Vishnu Hari Dalmia died during trial and the proceedings against them have been abated.