The special CBI court, conducting the Babri mosque demolition trial, will record statements of the accused under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) on June 4.
The court will record the statements of as many as 32 accused, including the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, former Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani, BJP leaders M. M. Joshi, Uma Bharati, Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Sakshi Maharaj, Ram Vilas Vedanti and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
As the presence of the accused Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharati are already exempted till further directions, other accused moved their exemption plea on Thursday citing lockdown difficulties.
A court official said that if the lockdown is extended, the accused could be asked to appear before the court through video conferencing.
The hearing will enable the accused to explain their innocence and further explain the incriminating circumstances that existed in the evidence led by the prosecuting agency CBI against them.
Earlier, special judge S. K. Yadav had recorded in his order that the CBI concluded its prosecution evidence and no further prosecution evidence remained to be led.
The prosecution evidence was, in fact, completed on March 6, 2020, itself and the court had asked some of the accused, including Champat Rai, Lallu Singh and Prakash Sharma, to appear before it on March 24 for recording of statement under Section 313 CrPC, but due to the lockdown and closure of the court, the proceedings could not be held.
Meanwhile, when the court resumed on May 18, the defence counsel moved an application to summon three prosecution witnesses in order to cross examine them. The court allowed the application and completed proceedings on Wednesday.