The Supreme Court on Friday directed a trial court to pronounce judgement in the Babri Masjid demolition case against senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and others in nine months from today.
The special CBI judge SK Yadav had on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking six months more time to complete the trial in the case, as he is scheduled to retire on September 30.
A bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman observed that the trial court judge had made substantial progress in the trial so far. Therefore, the extension for delivering the judgement had merit.
The Uttar Pradesh government had also asked the Supreme Court to allow the extension of the tenure of the trial court judge in view of his retirement after two months.
Therefore, the trial will take at least six months more from the date of retirement.
The Supreme Court observed it wants the Special Judge to continue and deliver the judgement even if the trial takes two more years.
The top court also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to hold consultation with the Allahabad High Court and pass necessary direction for extending the tenure of the Special Judge.
The court has asked the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary to file an affidavit in relation to compliance of its order within four weeks.
It has emphasized that the trial should be completed in six months and, based on it, a judgement should be delivered in three further months.
A special CBI court had framed charges against the BJP leaders for their alleged role in the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992.
The Supreme Court had in 2017 revived the conspiracy charge in the Babri Masjid demolition case against Advani, Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti and others.
On April 19, 2017, it ordered the trial court to conduct a day-to-day hearing and conclude the trial in the case within two years.
A frenzied Hindu mob razed the 16th-century Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. When this happened, Advani, Joshi and other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders were present at the spot.