Babri witnesses get HC contempt notice

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has issued contempt notices to Shereen Ratnagar and D Mandal two witnesses in the Ram Janambhoomi Babri Masjid case.

Sunni Central Board of Waqf had roped in Ratnagar and Mandal as experts to study the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report on excavation at the disputed site and interpret it before the court for the petitioners. After studying the report, they went ahead to pen a book called Ayodhya: Archaeology After Excavation. In the book, the two archaeologists have discussed the excavated data and the presentation and interpretation of these data by the ASI.

"The court has found certain portions of the book to be in violation of the High Court order, which had barred the witnesses and others involved in the case to express their opinions on the sensitive issue till the court arrives at a conclusion," said Zafaryab Jilani, counsel of the Sunni Central Board of Wakf.

On April 27, the Special Bench comprising Justices S U Khan, Sudhir Agarwal and D V Sharma had issued a notice to the authors and publisher Tulika Books. On Tuesday, publishers Indira Chandrashekhar and Shereen Ratnagar appeared before the court and tendered an unconditional apology. However, since D Mandal failed to appear on medical grounds, the court posted the matter for hearing on July 9. "The court has asked all the contemners to be present in the court for hearing," said Jilani.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.