Justice M.S. Liberhan, who headed the commission that inquired into
the Babri Masjid demolition, says that attempts were made to scuttle
his probe that lasted 17 long years.
cannot restrain myself from observing that attempts were made to
scuttle the commission," said Liberhan in his 1,000-page report on
the demolition made public Tuesday.
in his Afterword chapter, held: "It was claimed that all relevant
documents were produced and proper assistance in the conduct of the
inquiry rendered. Yet at the end of the day, I have reason to
believe that some things have still been withheld and the records
were kept back from the commission."
Elsewhere, the report said: "The commission then issued notices for
eliciting information and invited affidavits from the general
public. Sadly, there were virtually none who came forth to provide
any meaning or useful information. Despite repeated advertisements,
no relevant information was forthcoming, not even any hearsay
evidence or theories."
"Even the state and the union governments were not forthcoming with
relevant records. The commission, therefore, had to turn to the
public figures and request their appearance as witnesses for the
purpose of ascertaining the facts," it added.
said that the commission was left gasping for facts and supporting
evidence and faced a blind wall situation.
procedural wrangling and the practical difficulties consumed a major
part of the commission's time," the report added.
"After much persuasion, the central government had started examining
its witnesses sporadically and with delays, and according to their
own convenience and expediency. The central government took a number
of years to examine a handful of witnesses, whose roles was limited
just to the security aspects," he said.
attempts were made by the central government to examine anybody with
respect to their role, facts, circumstances, environment or ambience
generated, conspiracy or a joint common enterprise resulting in
A Pat to Advani
Despite holding him guilty for the Babri mosque demolition, Justice
M.S. Liberhan has praised Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K.
Advani for cooperating with the commission.
"Persons like Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and (Rashtriya Swayamsewak
Sangh's) K.S. Sudarshan appeared voluntarily and gave their
statements despite their busy schedule and also cooperated in
replying to the relevant and sometimes irrlevant and even the
philosophical questions asked by the lawers," Liberhan said in his
report on the Babri mosque razing made public Tuesday.
also expressed gratitude to former prime ministers P.V. Narasimha
Rao and V.P. Singh, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan
Singh, Communist Party of India-Marxist's (CPI-M) Jyoti Basu and
former home minister S.B. Chavan "who deposed before the commission
voluntarily although they had stay orders from high courts in their
included Advani, Joshi and Sudarshan among the 68 people listed in
the inquiry report for creating conditions that led to the break-up
of the 16th century Babri mosque in Ayodhya on Dec 6, 1992.