The Supreme Court in a significant ruling has extended by three months the time for completion of trial in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case involving Bharatiya Janata Party veterans L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti and said that judgement should be delivered by August 31.
The top court asked special judge S K Yadav to control the proceedings in accordance with law so that inordinate delay that is beyond the time-frame is no longer breached.
It indicated to the special judge to avail the facilities of video conferencing to complete recording of evidences and hearing of applications that are filed during the course of trial proceedings.
A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Surya Kant, hearing the matter through video conferencing, passed the orders on receiving a letter from the special judge seeking extension of time granted to him for completing the trial in the politically sensitive case.
“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.
On July 19 last year the top court had asked the special judge to deliver the verdict within nine months, which was to end this April.
The bench on Friday said that despite nine months having expired from the aforesaid date (July 19), “we still find, on a perusal of the letter dated May 6, 2020, written by Shri Yadav, Special Judge that even the evidence is not yet completed”.