A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Lucknow will pronounce its verdict in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case on Wednesday. The demolition triggered some of the deadliest riots since partition and left about 2,000 dead. Here is a look at how the case has panned out
1. Two First Information Reports (FIRs) were lodged in Ayodhya after the demolition on December 6, 1992, with the first against unmanned karsevaks, or religious volunteers.
2. The second FIR named Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, who were present when the mosque was brought down. Advani spearheaded a campaign for a Ram Temple in place of the mosque.
3. Forty-five more FIRs were later lodged.
4. A special CBI court was constituted in Rae Bareli on July 8, 1993 to hear the case.
5. Charges were framed on July 28, 2005, and 57 witnesses recorded their statements.
6. The Supreme Court transferred the case to the Lucknow court on May 30, 2017, as charges were framed against 28 people.
7. It extended the timeframe for completing the criminal trial in the case on July 19, 2019 by six months, and set a deadline of nine months for the final order.
8. The nine-month deadline expired on April 19 and the special judge wrote to the apex court on May 6, seeking an extension.
9. The Supreme Court, on May 8, set a new deadline of August 31 for the judgment.
10. In August, the apex court again extended the deadline till September 3.
Twist in the case
Calling the demolition a crime that shook the “secular fabric of the Constitution”, the apex court in April 2017 overturned the dropping of criminal conspiracy charges against high-profile accused persons including Advani.
The court called the Allahabad high court’s February 12, 2001, verdict dropping the charges “erroneous”.
Before the 2017 verdict, there were two cases related to the demolition being heard in Lucknow and Rae Bareli.
The first case involved unnamed karsevaks in Lucknow and the second eight high-profile accused in Rae Bareli.
In April 2017, the Supreme Court transferred the Rae Bareli case to the special court in Lucknow.