The Congress has slammed the Lucknow Special Court's decision to acquit all the accused in the 28-year-old Babri Masjid demolition case, saying it held no one accountable even when the Supreme Court had called the demolition illegal. The judgment, the party said, "runs counter" to the Supreme Court judgment of last November and the spirit of the Constitution and asked the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government to file an appeal in a higher court.
The Lucknow court had said the temple demolition was not pre-planned and there was "not enough evidence against the accused" whose ranks included the BJP's founder members LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi and top leaders Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh.
The court had negated the video submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation, saying its authenticity cannot be proved and the audio was bad. The court had also said "Anti-social elements had tried to demolish the structure and the accused leaders had tried to stop them".
The Congress pointed out that in its November judgment allowing the construction of a temple at the Ram Janambhoomi site in Ayodhya, the Supreme Court had said the demolition of Babri Masjid was a clear illegality and "egregious violation of the rule of law".
"But the Special Court exonerated all the accused. It is clear that the decision of the Special Court runs counter to the decision of the Supreme Court of India," read a statement from senior Congress leader and party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
The party also accused the BJP and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of having a "deep rooted conspiracy" to destroy the country's "communal amity and brotherhood" for "usurping power at any cost".
"The then BJP government of Uttar Pradesh was a co-conspirator in the designed attack on India's Constitutional ethos. So much so that Supreme Court was misled by filing a wrong Affidavit on oath," the Congress said.
Kalyan Singh, who was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh at the time of the December 1992 demolition, was accused of conspiracy in the case. As 3,000 people were killed in riots across the country following the razing of the mosque, Mr Singh's government was dismissed. He was acquitted along with the others today.
The demolition of the 16th century mosque, the five-judge bench led by then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said, was "a calculated act of destroying a place of public worship".
The top court had also said it was necessary to "provide restitution to the Muslim community for the unlawful destruction of their place of worship", asking the Centre to allot equal land in Ayodhya to the Muslims for the construction of a mosque.