Babri Masjid demolition: SC likely to examine whether to revive conspiracy charges against Advani, Joshi on Wednesday
The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce its verdict on an appeal filed by CBI against dropping of conspiracy charges against LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti on Wednesday.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce its verdict on an appeal filed by CBI against dropping of conspiracy charges against LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti on Wednesday.
During the last hearing, the central probe agency had told the apex court that criminal conspiracy charges against BJP leaders Advani, Joshi and some others must be revived.
The to court favoured a time-bound completion of trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case and reserved its order on the CBI plea for revival of conspiracy charges.
Noting that the matter was pending for last 25 years, the bench of Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman said that they would invoke extraordinary powers under the Constitution's Article 142 to transfer the trial to Lucknow where the eight leaders, including and Joshi, could be tried for conspiracy along with 13 others.
The CBI had moved the top court against May 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict dropping conspiracy charge against the eight senior Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders.
Advani and Joshi, along with Uma Bharti and Vinay Katiyar (all BJP), Sadhvi Rithambra, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Ashok Singhal and Vishnu Hari Dalmia (VHP) were facing trial for making speeches from the dais at Ramkatha Kunj prior to the razing of the 16th century mosque in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 by Hindu right-wing activists.
The spot was just 200 meters away from the disputed structure.
Kishore and Singhal have since passed away.
A bench of Justices PC Ghose and RF Nariman said there cannot be two trials -- one at Rae Bareili against Advani and others and another at Lucknow against 'karsevaks' -- in connection with the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.
The court said it will be in the interest of parties that the cases, which are pending since 1992, are disposed of within a time frame while favouring shifting of the trial in the case against Advani and others from a court in Rae Bareli to Lucknow.
It was also of the view that the conspiracy charges against the accused cannot be dropped on the pretext of technical glitches and that it has stepped in to examine their restoration as the serious charge was originally in the joint charge sheet filed by the CBI in both set of the cases.
The conspiracy charges were later dropped by the trial court and the order was upheld by the Allahabad High Court for want of sanction from the chief justice of the high court.
Besides other charges, 13 people including present Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, Satish Pradhan, Champat Rai Bansal, Mahant Avaidyanath, Paramhans Ramchandra, Ram Vilas Vedanti, Mahamandaleshwar Jagdish Muni Maharaj, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Dharam Das Chola, Satish Nagar, Moreshwar Save and Baikunth Lal Sharma are also facing trial for conspiracy charges in Lucknow.