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Six more months for Liberhan Commission

By Our Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI, MARCH 11. The term of the Liberhan Commission of Inquiry — probing the sequence of events leading to the demolition of the "disputed Babri Masjid structure" in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 — due to expire on March 31 has been extended till September 30. It has been asked to submit its report by that date.

Most of the parties have already filed their written submissions and the Commission is now hearing the final arguments.

Set up soon after the Masjid demolition, the Commission had concluded the recording of evidence on January 22, 2003 and after hearing the final arguments by the Central Government counsel it could not proceed further since it was felt that examination of the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Kalyan Singh, was desirable before proceeding further. But Mr. Singh has taken the matter to court. In the last 11 years of hearing, the Commission has held 325 sittings and examined 99 witnesses — 14 defence witnesses, 53 Central Government witnesses and 32 Commission's witnesses, including the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, and the former Prime Ministers, P.V. Narasimha Rao and V.P. Singh.

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