BJP's Vinay Katiyar, 5 Others Appear Before Lucknow Court In Babri Masjid Case

The court, however, recorded the only Vijay Bahadur Singh's statement for want of time and asked the others to appear before it on Friday.

BJP's Vinay Katiyar, 5 Others Appear Before Lucknow Court In Babri Masjid Case

Last year, Supreme Court settled the land dispute over the Babri Masjid site (Representational)

Lucknow:

BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, former parliamentarian Ram Vilas Vedanti and four other accused appeared before a special CBI court in Lucknow in connection with the Babri Masjid case on Thursday.

The court, however, recorded the only Vijay Bahadur Singh's statement for want of time and asked the others to appear before it on Friday.

Besides Vijay Bahadur Singh, Pawan Pandey, Santosh Dubey and Gandhi Yadav had appeared before the court today.

Special Judge SK Yadav also directed them to furnish in writing the defence evidence, if any, after recording their statement.

Thirty-two people, including former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh, ex-deputy prime minister LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Rithambara and Sakshi Maharaj, are facing trial in the case.

LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti have been exempted from personal appearance till further orders.

The prosecution had wrapped up the examination of its witnesses by March 6 and the court asked some of the accused to appear before it on March 24 to record their statements.

But the proceedings did not take place as the court in Lucknow closed due to the coronavirus crisis.

When the proceedings resumed on May 18, the defense counsel moved an application to summon three prosecution witnesses in order to cross examine them which was allowed.

On April 19, 2017, the Supreme Court had ordered the special judge to conduct a day-to-day trial and conclude it in two years.

The top court had termed the Allahabad High Court's February 12, 2001 verdict dropping conspiracy charge against LK Advani and others as "erroneous".

On May 8 this year, the top court set a new deadline for the special judge, asking him to deliver the verdict by August 31.

Last year, another bench of the Supreme Court settled the land dispute over the site where the mosque stood.

It allowed the construction of a Ram temple at the site and ordered the allocation of a separate plot in Ayodhya for a mosque.

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