Judiciary is abdicating its responsibility: People’s Movements on Babri demolition verdict

National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), an alliance of progressive people’s organizations and movements in India, said it is shocked and dismayed at the verdict of the CBI Special Court in acquitting all 32 persons accused of being responsible for the demolition of Babri Mosque.

“For reasons best known to it, the CBI led a weak prosecution based upon defective evidence, even though the Liberhan Commission after its detailed investigation (1992-2009) pointed to the involvement of senior RSS and BJP leaders, including L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti,” reads a statement endorsed by more than 150 rights activists including Medha Patkar, Aruna Roy, Nakul Singh Sawhney and Meera Sanghamitra.

Nearly three decades after the Babri Masjid was razed by Sangh Parivar mob in Uttar Pradesh, all accused including former deputy Prime Minister LK Advani in the Babri Masjid demolition case acquitted by the Special CBI court on Wednesday. Reading out the 2,000-page order, Judge SK Yadav observed that evidence against the accused are not strong enough and the Babri Mosque demolition incident was not pre-planned.

NAPM said it is indeed sad commentary for India’s democracy that active participants in a movement such as this often say one thing inside Court and the exact opposite outside it and yet go scot-free. 

“The Judgement running into 2,300 pages then goes at length to say that there was no active conspiracy, it’s a mockery of the rule of law,” it said.

“The verdict does nothing to remedy the illegality of the demolition, which was recognized by the Supreme Court in its Ayodhya Verdict on November 9, 2019, but on the other hand has encouraged claims for the demolition of other mosques, leading inevitably to increasing discord, hate, and violence in society,” the statement reads.

The Movement also noted that prima facie, it appears that the Prosecution not only failed to do its job but also willfully worked in favour of pleasing its political masters, since on record, in front of Liberhan Commission, Uma Bharti, one of the co-accused had taken responsibility for her role in the demolition of the mosque.

“There is enough evidence visual and written in public domain from the times where their speeches, actions and everything has been recorded.  Photographs of leading lights who were leading the Ramjanmabhoomi movement and were on stage near the site of the demolition celebrating the fall of the mosque are a case in point. All right thinking citizens are therefore dismayed at the decision that they had no role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid,” it said.

NAPM condemned the decision of the CBI court and demanded that the verdict be challenged in the High court. 

“The judicial system has always been seen as the last recourse of common people in the face of a rapacious executive and a complicit legislature, which are destroying the social fabric of our nation. Unfortunately, judiciary is abdicating its responsibility,” the statement said.

The rights activists urged that the Supreme Court takes suo moto note of this verdict and brings the perpetrators to justice.