Allahabad High Court dismisses plea against acquittal of senior BJP leaders in Babri Masjid demolition case 


The appellants are not ‘victims’, the court said, which also became the reason for the dismissal of the instant appeal

The appellants are not ‘victims’, the court said, which also became the reason for the dismissal of the instant appeal

The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday dismissed the criminal appeal filed against the order of a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Lucknow that acquitted senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and 28 others accused of criminal conspiracy in the Babri Masjid demolition case. The court maintained that the appellants were not “real victims” in the matter, which also became the reason for the dismissal of the instant appeal.

The judgment was delivered by Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Saroj Yadav on the instant criminal appeal filed by the appellants, Haji Mohboob Ahmad and Syed Akhlaq Ahmad, who are residents of Ayodhya and claimed themselves to be the victims in the case. The two had filed an instant criminal appeal in 2021 under Section 372 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 challenging the judgment by special CBI judge S.K. Yadav, delivered on September 30, 2020.

In his order, the CBI judge maintained that the demolition of the mosque was not premeditated and that there was no criminal conspiracy behind it.  He had further acquitted the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, Mr. Advani, Mr. Joshi, Vinay Katiyar, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, and Sadhvi Rithambhara from charges of hatching a conspiracy in the Babri mosque demolition.

During the arguments in the case, the petitioners had mentioned that they were not only the witnesses of the said incident but also victims, as their house and household goods were burnt during the incident. The counsel of the appellants also argued that the CBI had adorned the role of the “defence” in the matter of the Babri mosque demolition and save the accused persons.

“The victims got no help from any one,” the petitioners alleged. The matter was first heard by the High Court in July this year.

In the judgment delivered by the Allahabad High Court, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, the judges maintained that the appellants could not be treated as “victims”, and therefore, they had no locus to maintain the instant appeal.

“It would be apt to note that word ‘victim’… defined in Section 2(wa) of the Cr.P.C., which was introduced vide the Cr.P.C. (Amendment) Act, 2008 with effect from December 31st, 2009 and the same reads that ‘victim’ means a person who has suffered any loss or injury caused by reason of the act or omission for which the accused person has been charged and the expression ‘victim’ includes his or her guardian or legal heir,” the court order said.

“This Court is of the view that the appellants cannot be treated as ‘victims’, therefore, they have no locus to maintain the instant appeal,” the order said.


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