Lucknow, Sep 30 (PTI) There is no evidence on record to show that the accused had conspired to demolish the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992, the special CBI court here, which acquitted all 32 accused in the decades-old case on Wednesday, said in its 2,300-page judgement.
Referring to the evidence furnished by the CBI and statements of witnesses, the court said none of these show that the accused had assembled and planned any such act before the incident took place on December 6, 1992.
Veteran BJP leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, the then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, former Union minister Uma Bharti, Ram Janmaboomi Teerth Kshetra Trust president Nritya Gopal Das and Shiv Sena leader Satish Pradhan were among the accused.
The 16th century mosque was demolished on December 6, 1992 by 'kar sevaks' who believed that it occupied the site where Lord Ram was born. The destruction triggered riots that left hundreds dead in the country.
Twenty-six of the 32 accused were present in the court when special Judge S K Yadav read out the operative portion of the verdict, an exercise which took five minutes.
Delivering the verdict on the day of his retirement, he did not accept newspaper reports and video cassettes as evidence.
Referring to the statements given by several witnesses in the case, the court said they have not testified about the involvement of any of the accused persons in the razing of structure.
It added that there were contradictions in the statements of some witnesses before the court and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The court also said there is no evidence to show that the accused had voluntarily caused hurt to deter any public servant from discharging his duty.
The verdict comes less than a year after the Supreme Court's historic judgement in the related Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute that paved the way for the construction of a temple at the Ayodhya site.
The apex court verdict had called the demolition an 'egregious violation of the rule of law.' The CBI produced 351 witnesses and 600 documents as evidence. Charges were framed against 48 people, but 16 have died during the course of the trial.
It had argued that the accused conspired and instigated 'kar sevaks' to demolish the mosque.
The accused pleaded innocence, maintaining that there was no evidence to prove their guilt and they were victims of political vendetta by the then Congress government at the Centre. PTI ABA PKS SJK ABA DIV DIV