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Many a drama at Liberhan hearings

June 30, 2009 19:46 IST

The Liberhan Commission -- the country's longest running inquiry panel -- saw its own share of high drama during its 17-year probe into Babri Masjid demolition and once had a tough time dealing with a Bajrang Dal leader's foul language.

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Vinay Katiyar, during his deposition, used foul language and went to the extent of saying that the report of the Commission will be useless and gather dust on official shelves.

At one point of time during the hearing, even BJP stalwart L K Advani lost his cool and had lodged a protest with Justice Liberhan against the Commission's lawyer.

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On being pulled by Liberhan following Advani's protest, the lawyer had then stated that history would not forgive the judge if after the mountain of labour over all these years the commission finally produced a mouse. During the hearing, Advani said the 'saddest' day in his life was the day when the Babri Masjid was demolished.

Four years ago, the hearings of the Commission concluded but two years ago a controversy broke out with the Commission's counsel Anupam Gupta dissociating himself from it owing to personal differences with Justice Liberhan.

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The commission saw a galaxy of political leaders including two former prime ministers -- V P Singh and P V Narasimha Rao, two former chief ministers -- Kalyan Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav, former senior union minister Murli Manohar Joshi and firebrand leader Uma Bharti depose before it. And some of them were not spared of a grilling by the Commission

Several top bureaucrats and police officers had also given their testimony.

Appointed by Narasimha Rao on December 16, 1992 two weeks after the demolition to ward off criticism against his government for having failed to protect the mosque, the Commission had as its last witness Kalyan Singh who was the chief minister at that time.

Singh had evaded appearance before the commission for more than 11 years by filing a petition in Allahabad High Court after taking moral responsibility for the dead. He had appeared only after the Delhi High Court lifted a stay order on his deposition.

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