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Liberhan Commission unable to examine Kalyan

The refusal of the Liberhan Commission to examine no other witness unless former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh was examined has created a rather piquant situation. The commission of inquiry that was set up to probe the events leading to the Babri Masjid demolition at Ayodhya on 6 December 1992 has decided that until former chief minister of UP Kalyan Singh was examined, it would not consider examining other witnesses including the home minister LK Advani.

Kalyan Singh who was the chief minister of the UP when the Babri Masjid was razed to the ground and is supposed to have played an active role in demolishing the mosque is trying to escape from appearing before the commission on some pretext or the other for a long time. It was fourth such summon issued to Kalyan Singh by the Commission. The Commission had also issued a bailable warrant against the former chief minister, against which he moved to the Delhi High Court to quash the bail warrant. He had also requested the high court to be granted immunity from appearing before the Liberhan Commission, but the high court did not fully agree with the former chief minister.

The Commission has earlier said that Kalyan Singh is such a key witness that nothing can be concluded until he appears before it. 

The proceedings of the Commission that was set up on 17 December 1992 following the demolition of the Babri Masjid by Kar Sevaks in Ayodhya had to submit its report within three months of its inception. But seven long years have passed since then and any important witness is yet to appear before the Commission. Only Prabhat Kumar the home secretary who at the time of demolition was the state home secretary appeared before the commission. He told the commission that decision not to use the police force and paramilitary forces at the time of demolition was entirely Kalyan Singh’s own. He also told the Commission that he was in no way responsible for not using the forces deployed at the time of demolition. Several important accused including LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi have to appear before the Commission, but the Commission has not summoned them and has announced that it will summon them after the hearing of Kalyan Singh is finished.

The Commission has again adjourned the hearing till 22 September and said that the examination of Kalyan Singh as witness would be subject to the outcome of the writ petition filed by him in the Delhi High Court. The Commission has also said that Kalyan Singh will be examined first, and only then it will think of examining others.

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