- Judge delivered closely-watched verdict in 11-year-old case
- Said investigators had failed to prove charges against the accused
- Hours later, he quit, reportedly citing personal reasons
Judge Ravinder Reddy, who delivered the verdict in the 11-year-old case on Monday afternoon, stunned everyone by resigning on the same day. He has reportedly cited personal reasons. He handed over his resignation to the Metropolitan Sessions Judge. According to news agency PTI, Judge Reddy said his decision had nothing to do with today's judgement and he had been considering resigning for quite some time.
In his order earlier in the day, he said all five men had been acquitted because the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had failed to establish their role in the attack in which nine people were killed and over 50 injured during Friday prayers at the historic mosque. In 11 years, over 200 witnesses were examined by the court and over 400 documents were exhibited.
Hyderabad lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi raised questions and called it an "intriguing" move.
Ten people allegedly belonging to right wing organisations had been named as the accused. One of them, Sunil Joshi, a former RSS member like Aseemanand, was murdered.
Judge who gave acquittal to all accused in Mecca Masjid Blast RESIGNS very intriguing and I am surprised with the Lordship decision- Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) April 16, 2018
The acquittals today were seized by the BJP, which taunted the Congress saying it had been proved that there is "no such thing as saffron terror". The term was used in 2010 by then home minister P Chidambaram of the Congress.
But the Congress said neither its president Rahul Gandhi nor any other party leader ever used the term "saffron terror".