BABRI MASJID: The Story So Far
The Babri Masjid, a mosque in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya was constructed by Mughal emperor Babur.
In December 1949, idols of Lord Ram 'appeared', or were 'placed' inside the mosque. This led to widespread protests which led to cases being filed by both sides.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad forms a group to continue the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
The district judge in Faizabad orders for the gates of the disputed structure to open so that Hindus can enter and pray.
In November 1989 Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi allows the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to conduct a ceremony, called the Shilanyas (consecration).
BJP President LK Advani conducts a rath yatra across the country in a bid to garner support from the people to build a Ram Temple at the disputed site.
On 30 October 1990, Mulayam Singh Yadav ordered the police to open fire at the Hindutva mob who were marching towards Babri Masjid, which led to the death of 16 karsevaks.
The disputed structure is brought down by karsevaks and a makeshift temple is put in place on 6 December. Two FIRs were registered on the same day.
On 16 December, 10 days after the demolition, a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court, MS Liberhan, is appointed to submit a report on the sequence of events that led to the demolition.
A special court is set up in Lalitpur to adjudicate the cases. Later, they moved the trial of these cases from a special court in Lalitpur to a special court in Lucknow.
A month later, on 5 October 1993 the CBI files a consolidated charge sheet, including for FIR 198, as the two cases were intrinsically related.
On 8 October 1993, the UP government issues a new notification for transfer of the cases, clubbing FIR 198 against the original eight leaders, with the rest of the cases.
A supplementary charge sheet is filed by the CBI, based on which the court observes that there was prima facie evidence to frame charges of criminal conspiracy against the leaders, including LK Advani.
The lawyers of the accused were able to successfully argue that the charges against them were wrongly framed due to an administrative lapse by the Uttar Pradesh government.
CBI files a supplementary charge against the eight accused under FIR 198. However, they were unable to get the conspiracy to destroy the Babri Masjid added as a charge, as the FIRs treated the demolition (FIR 197) and the speeches which instigated it (FIR 198) as separate.
The Allahabad High Court sets aside this Raebareli court order in 2005 and said that Advani and the others were to continue to stand trial. The case progressed, but without the charges of criminal conspiracy.
17 years after it was first formed, the Liberhan Commission submits its over 900 page report. In the report, that was later made public, the commission did not mince words in placing blame on anyone.
A revision petition is filed by the CBI in the Allahabad High Court against its order dated 4 May 2001, which had held that the two sets of cases under FIR 197 and FIR 198 needed to be tried separately.
CBI finally approached the Supreme Court in 2011 and subsequently filed an affidavit on 20 March 2012, in which it made a renewed argument for a common trial of all the cases.
The Supreme Court issued notice to senior BJP leaders, including LK Advani, Uma Bharati, Murli Manohar Joshi and Kalyan Singh, to respond to the CBI's plea to not drop charges of criminal conspiracy against them in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
SC ordered the invocation of conspiracy charges against several accused including LK Advani and 20 others. The trial of all cases were now clubbed and brought back together to the Lucknow court.
First the court gave it a two year deadline, which was supposed to end in April 2019. In July 2019, the SC extended the tenure of the judge on the case and extended the deadline by nine months.
On 9 November 2019 SC gave the Ayodhya title dispute to rest by ordering the land to be handed over to the Hindus, and the setting up of a trust to construct the temple there and Muslims will be given an alternate 5 acre land for their mosque in Dhannipur village.