The apex court has fixed the April deadline and, interestingly, Monday’s order by a bench of Justices RF Nariman and Indu Malhotra came while hearing an application filed by special CBI judge SK Yadav, who alleged he is not being promoted as his transfer has been stalled till the pendency of the Babri case.
Judge Yadav said the restriction on his transfer – and hence on his promotion – is due to the SC order that he could not be changed till the trial was on. The SC order was intended to expedite the case relating to the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992, by kar sevaks. Agreeing to hear his plea, the bench issued notice but at the same time directed Judge Yadav to file a report in a sealed envelope on how the trial court would complete the proceedings within the time limit specified by the SC in April last year.
The court passed the order after it was told that the case was adjourned 101 times in 2016 and 13 times till April 2017. Terming the demolition of the disputed structure as a “crime” that shook the “secular fabric of the Constitution”, the SC restored conspiracy charges against the BJP veterans. While directing joint trial against all accused, including top BJP leaders, it had fixed a two-year deadline for the sessions court in Lucknow to complete proceedings and deliver its verdict.