New Delhi: The Congress Wednesday said the decision of the special CBI court to acquit all the accused in Babri Masjid demolition case runs counter to a Supreme Court judgement and the constitutional spirit, while the CPM of the Left Party described it as a "travesty of justice".
The court acquitted all the 32 accused in the case, including BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, in the absence of conclusive proof to suggest a criminal conspiracy. Delivering the much-awaited verdict in the 28-year-old case, CBI judge S K Yadav did not accept newspapers and video cassettes as evidence.
Not in constitutional spririt, says Congress
Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said every Indian who has innate faith in the Constitution and in the spirit of communal amity and brotherhood expects and urges the central and state governments to file an appeal against the decision of the special court.
"The decision of the Special Court to acquit all the accused in Babri Masjid demolition case runs counter to Supreme Court judgement as also the constitutional spirit," Surjewala said.
The Supreme Court in its judgement on November 9 last year, pronounced by five judges, had clearly held that the demolition of Babri Masjid was a clear illegality and egregious violation of the rule of law, Surjewala told reporters.
"But the Special Court exonerated all the accused. It is clear that the decision of the Special Court runs counter to the decision of the Supreme Court of India," he said.
"Entire Country witnessed a deep-rooted political conspiracy by BJP-RSS and its leaders to destroy the country's communal amity and brotherhood for usurping power at any cost," he alleged.
28 long yers for verdict, but justice not delivered: CPM
"The acquittals amount to a travesty of justice. It took 28 long years for this verdict but not justice to be delivered.," CPM politburo said in a statement.
"All the top leaders of the BJP-VHP-RSS who were present at the scene guiding the criminal act have been found to be innocent of the charge of conspiracy to demolish the mosque. The Supreme Court, in its Ayodhya judgment on November 9 last year, had called the demolition an egregious violation of the law. Now, the Lucknow court has found the main perpetrators of this crime not guilty," it added.
It said the verdict will "blemish the image of India as a secular-democratic country governed by the Constitution".
"The CBI must immediately appeal against this judgment," the Left party added.
CBI to file an appeal against special court verdict
The CBI will decide on filing an appeal against the special court verdict acquitting all 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case after consulting the legal department, its counsel said on Wednesday.
"After a copy of today's verdict is received, it would be sent to the CBI headquarters where it would be studied by the legal department and a decision on filing an appeal would be taken as per its suggestion," CBI counsel Lalit Singh said.
Lawyer Zafaryab Jilani has also said that the special court verdict will be challenged in the high court.
The case relates to the razing of the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, which triggered riots for several months leaving nearly 2,000 people dead across the country.
The structure was demolished by 'kar sevaks' who claimed that the mosque was built on the site of an ancient Ram temple.
The central agency produced 351 witnesses and 600 documents as evidence before the court.
(With inputs from PTI)