By Aarti Tikoo Singh
New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) Satya Pal Jain, senior advocate and a member of the national executive committee of the BJP, has said that the Liberhan Commission report, which had indicted BJP’s top leadership in the Babri Masjid demolition case, was unfounded and based on misrepresentation of facts.
Jain had represented the accused BJP leaders before the Liberhan Commission.
“The Congress government had rightly dumped it and the report met the fate which it deserved,” Jain, who also happens to be the Additional Solicitor General of India in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, told IANS in an exclusive interview following the special CBI court’s verdict in the case.
On September 30, a special CBI court in Lucknow acquitted all the 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, including BJP veterans L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and several others, on account of inconclusive evidence and the event not being pre-planned.
A 500-year-old dispute, the Babri Masjid was built on the site of what Hindus believe to be the birth place of Lord Ram. On December 6, 1992, the mosque was demolished by a large group of activists, at a time when the country was run by the Congress headed by Prime Minister P.V.R. Narasimha Rao.
Incidentally, Satya Pal Jain was also present with other BJP and RSS leaders in Ayodhya on the day of the demolition.
The Liberhan Commission, led by retired high court judge M.S. Liberhan, was commissioned by the Central government in December 1992 to investigate the demolition of the disputed structure and the subsequent riots in Ayodhya.
Though the Commission was supposed to submit its report within three months, it received extensions 48 times.
Finally, after a delay of 17 years, the one-man commission submitted the report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in June 2009. The report, tabled in the Parliament in November 2009, indicted 68 people, mostly top leaders of the BJP, as having pre-planned the demolition of the mosque.
“First, the entire top leadership of the BJP and the RSS appeared before the Commission. No one evaded questioning,” Jain argued.
The senior advocate had represented Advani, Uma Bharti and others before the Commission.
Second, throughout the period of 17 years of investigation by the Commission, non-BJP parties (Congress, United Front and Congress-led UPA) were in power for 11 years. After the Liberhan report was tabled in 2009, the Congress was in power for another five years.
“But they could not come up with any evidence to establish their charges against the top leaders of the BJP during the trial,” Jain said.
It was the responsibility of the governments of Narasimha Rao, Deve Gowda, I.K. Gujral and Manmohan Singh to collect proof against the leaders, the Additional Solicitor General said, adding that they failed miserably to produce any cogent evidence.
Even after the Liberhan Commission report was released, the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government could not collect any evidence till 2014. “Clearly, it was not worth their time,” Jain said.
Third, at the time of the demolition by young activists, Jain recalled, all the top leaders of the BJP were sitting on the dais, over 1000 meters away from the Babri Masjid domes. “In 28 years, nobody could produce a single photograph of any of the leaders demolishing the structures,” he said.
Fourth, all the leaders on the dais had made several appeals to the violent mobs to climb down and follow the law. “The Liberhan report was unfounded and based on misrepresentation of facts,” Jain said.
Former Chandigarh MP and senior advocate Jain has been reappointed as the Solicitor General of India in the Punjab and Haryana High Court by the Centre for another term till June 30, 2023.