Tuesday, July 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Liberhan panel reserves verdict
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 21
The Liberhan Commission, inquiring into the demolition of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya, today reserved its verdict on two sets of petitions seeking summoning of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh and re-summoning of Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani to depose as witnesses.

The verdict was reserved by Mr Justice M.S. Liberhan after prolonged arguments from Additional Solicitor-General R.N. Trivedi, appearing for the Centre and counsel for the panel and the other parties.

While the All -India Muslim Personal Law Board has pleaded the commission to summon Mr Vajpayee and Mr Kalyan Singh in the wake of the latter’s public statements that the Prime Minister, Mr Advani and HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi were among the persons who “conspired” the Ayodhya demolition, a Muslim citizen has also sought re-summoning of Mr Advani, who though had recorded his evidence.

Mr Trivedi, during the arguments, reiterated the Centre’s earlier stand that at this stage, when the commission had closed the recording of evidence and arguments on the material before it was on, no fresh witness could be summoned on the plea of private parties under the provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Act.

Though under the Act, a witness could be summoned if the government so desired after closure of the recording of the evidence, Mr Trivedi said “the Union Government does not desire to recall or summon any other witness, including the Prime Minister, Mr Kalyan Singh or re-summoning of the Deputy Prime Minister.”


Cong seeks PM’s reply on CBI ‘misuse’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 21
Accusing Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of “misusing” the CBI to drop the charge of “criminal conspiracy” against Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Joshi and others in the Babri Masjid demolition case, the Congress today sought a convincing reply from him on the issue and demanded the removal of the two Union Ministers.

“The CBI has been reduced to the status of a political tool. If justice can be hijacked in a huge criminal case like this, then our faith in democracy will be eroded,” Congress chief spokesman Jaipal Reddy told mediapersons here.

He said the move was made as part of a political conspiracy by the BJP-led coalition. “The Prime Minister must be held responsible for this. Mr Advani’s explanation that he looks after the Personnel Department, which does not include the CBI, was a lame excuse. We want the government to come forward with an adequate political gesture. Mr Advani and Mr Joshi must go. Mr Vajpayee must offer a convincing explanation,’’ Mr Reddy said.Back


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