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Govt Agency Fails to Provide Video Links With Accused, Upsets Babri Masjid Trial Court

File photo of Babri Masjid (Credits-AP)

File photo of Babri Masjid (Credits-AP)

The court was set to record statement of Ram temple trust head Mahant Nritya Gopal Das through video conferencing from Ayodhya on Tuesday. But there was no video link in place.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: June 23, 2020, 8:54 PM IST
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A special court hearing the Babri mosque demolition case on Tuesday expressed concern over National Informatics Centre's failure to arrange video links to record the statements of the accused, including former deputy prime minister LK Advani.

The CBI court here also sent a letter to Uttar Pradesh's principal secretary (law) on this.

The court had asked the NIC, a central government body, to make arrangements at the homes of 10 of the 32 accused who had opted to record their statements through video conferencing.

The court was set to record statement of Ram temple trust head Mahant Nritya Gopal Das through video conferencing from Ayodhya on Tuesday. But there was no video link in place.

Others in the list include former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh and former Union minister MM Joshi.

"This court had directed the NIC to make arrangements for video links at the residence of 10 accused, but no response has come so far," Special Judge SK Yadav said in his order.

"The court will wait till June 24 and even then if no response comes, the NIC will be sent a reminder," he added.

The statements are being recorded under section 313 of the CrPC, a stage in the trial after the examination of prosecution witnesses. The Supreme Court on May 8 had permitted the CBI court to use video conferencing.

The special court offered the video link option to the accused, keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic and government guidelines on social distancing.

On Tuesday, the judge recorded the statement of the 15th accused, Dharmadas, who denied his involvement in the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the alleged conspiracy.

The Babri Masjid was demolished in December 1992 by 'kar sevaks' claiming that a Ram temple had stood at the same spot in Ayodhya before the mosque.

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