The Supreme Court has refused to extend security to former special court judge Surendra Kumar Yadav, who had delivered the verdict in the 28-year-old Babri demolition case in September. All 32 accused in the high-profile case, including BJP's founder-members LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, were acquitted on September 30 by a special court in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow.
SK Yadav, 60, was to retire in 2019, but he was given extensions by the top court to hear the decades-old case which he had been handling since 2015. On his last day in the office, the former judge had delivered the verdict, acquitting all the accused. "Anti-social elements brought down the structure. The accused leaders tried to stop these people," he had said, adding that merely giving a provocative speech was not enough to prove guilt.
The top court this morning said: "Having perused the letter dated September 30, we do not consider it necessary to continue (the) security." SK Yadav had sought extension of his personal security over the sensitivity of the case.
The hearings - which involved evidence from 351 CBI witnesses and about 600 exhibits - had ended on September 1 and SK Yadav had started writing the judgment from the very next day to meet the deadline set by the Supreme Court.
The 16th century mosque was razed by thousands of "Kar Sevaks" who believed it was built on the ruins of an ancient temple that marked the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. The incident led to riots that left 3,000 dead and changed India's political landscape forever.
The Congress had slammed the Lucknow Special Court's decision, saying it held no one accountable even when the Supreme Court had called the demolition illegal.