Advani, Joshi to face trial in Babri Masjid demolition case

Source: ANI | By Staff Correspondent | Published on 19th April 2017, 12:04 PM | National News |

New Delhi :  The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) appeal challenging withdrawal of conspiracy charges against senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders including L. K. Advani in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition matter.

The apex court said that the trial has to be completed in two years, adding that day-to-day hearing would continue in a Lucknow court.

Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, being in a constitutional post has been given certain relief from the top court.

Advani and M.M. Joshi have to face criminal conspiracy charges in the matter.

Union Water Resources and River Development Minister Uma Bharti will also have to face criminal conspiracy charges in the case.

The apex court also ordered that no adjournment would be given under normal circumstances, adding that no judge hearing the case would be transferred.

Earlier on April 6, the apex court reserved its order on whether criminal conspiracy charges should be initiated or not against various Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

The CBI told the apex court that 14 persons, including BJP leaders, who were acquitted of the charges under criminal conspiracy should be tried in Lucknow Court in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

The CBI lawyer, however, did not name the BJP leaders to be tried for criminal conspiracy charges in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

The CBI lawyer told the apex court that there are two FIRs registered against all accused in the case.

The probe agency also told the top court that the criminal conspiracy charges were dropped against 21 accused, including several BJP leaders, on technical grounds and added that the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had upheld the lower court's order.

The apex court was examining whether to revive the conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh and several others in connection with the case.

Earlier, the apex court had asked all parties to file their response in the matter and said it will hear the matter after two weeks.

There are two sets of cases - one against BJP veteran Advani and others, who were on the dais at Ram Katha Kunj in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, when the Babri mosque was demolished.

The other case was against lakhs of 'karsevaks' (volunteers) who were in and around the disputed structure.

The CBI had chargesheeted Advani and 20 others under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between classes), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505 (false statements, rumours etc. circulated with the intent to cause mutiny or disturb public peace) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

It had subsequently invoked charges under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, which was quashed by the special court whose decision was upheld by the High Court.

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