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Babri Demolition: L K Advani & Other Hindutva Leaders To Be Tried Under Criminal Conspiracy Charges, Says SCI

April 19, 2017 | By

New Delhi:  As per the media reports coming in from New Delhi after multiple delays in the hearing of the Babri Masjid Demolition case of 1992, the Supreme Court of India here on Wednesday finally while hearing the case has restored the charges of criminal conspiracy against Hindutva leaders L.K Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi & Uma Bharati which was earlier quashed by district court Rae Bareli and the Allahabad High Court upheld the decision of lower court in May 2010.

From L to R Hindutva leader Uma Bharti, LK Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi. From Archives

A bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman pronounced the judgement, ordering the separate trials being conducted in trial courts at Rae Bareli and Lucknow to be clubbed so as to speed up the trail which is being hanging from the past 25 years and will be conducted in the capital of Uttar Pradesh only, and directed it to be completed in two years.

The judgement further stated that since the charges of criminal conspiracy has been upheld the convicted BJP leaders won’t be able plea for a fresh trial. However, Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh, who enjoys Constitutional immunity, can be tried only after he ceases to hold the office.

The SCI further stated that the trial will proceed on a day-to-day basis and on no grounds it will be adjourned. It further stated that the judges presiding over the case will not be transferred till the trial is concluded and judgment has been pronounced, media sources said.

It also directed probe agency Central Bureau of Investigation  (CBI) to ensure that prosecution witnesses appear on each and every date for recording of evidence in the case and the trial court should start the proceedings within four weeks from this date.

Hindu activists demolishing the Babri Masjid in 1992.

Earlier last month the Supreme Court of India has suggested that the two separate cases  related to the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6th 1992 should be clubbed together, in one case in which unnamed ‘Hindu activists’ were involved and in other one in which VVIP’s were involved after merger were to be transferred from Rae Barreli  to Lucknow.

Senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for Advani and Joshi, had vociferously opposed the proposal for holding joint trial and transferring their case from Rae Bareli to Lucknow, reads a quote from report published in Times of India (TOI).

The CBI had clarified that it was not making any submission on the issue of the trial of the VVIPs accused but restricting itself to restoration of the charge of conspiracy against them.

The SCI had earlier decided to examine the appeal against dropping of conspiracy charge against Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti and 10 others.

Media sources further indicates that the  clubbing of two FIRs was opposed by the counsel for the accused on the ground that there were different sets of persons named as accused in the two cases, the trial of which were at an advanced stage at two different places. They were of the view that joint trial would lead to the beginning of de novo (afresh) proceedings.

The second set of case was against unknown ‘Hindu activists’ who were in and around the disputed structure and pulled it down. The trial against them is being held in a Lucknow court.

Besides pro hindutva BJP leaders Advani, Joshi and Bharti, conspiracy charges were dropped against Kalyan Singh (currently the Governor of Rajasthan), Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore (both have since died).

CBI had charged 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 IPC, notes TOI.

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