The Supreme Court refused to extend security to former special court judge Surendra Kumar Yadav, who delivered the verdict in the 28-year-old Babri demolition case in September. The 32 defendants in the high-profile case, including founding BJP members LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, were acquitted on September 30 by a special court in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
SK Yadav, 60, was due to retire in 2019, but got extensions from the highest court to hear the decades-old case he had been dealing with since 2015. On his last day at the office , the former judge had rendered the verdict, acquitting all the accused. “Antisocial elements brought down the structure. The accused leaders tried to arrest these people,” he said, adding that simply making a provocative speech was not enough to prove his guilt.
The Supreme Court said this morning: “After reading the letter dated September 30, we do not find it necessary to maintain (the) security.” SK Yadav had requested the extension of his personal security on the sensitivity of the case.
The hearings – which involved evidence from 351 CBI witnesses and around 600 exhibits – ended on September 1, and SK Yadav began writing the judgment the next day to meet the deadline set by the Supreme Court.
The 16th century mosque was razed to the ground by thousands of ‘Kar Sevaks’ who believed it was built on the ruins of an ancient temple which marked Lord Ram’s birthplace in Ayodhya. The incident led to riots that left 3,000 dead and changed the Indian political landscape forever.
Congress had criticized the Lucknow Special Court’s decision to acquit all defendants, saying it did not hold anyone accountable, even when the Supreme Court had called the demolition illegal.