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Babri Masjid demolition case: Advani, Uma Bharti, MM Joshi to face criminal conspiracy charges

Babri Masjid demolition case: SC has also directed the sessions judge in Lucknow to conduct trial in the Babri demolition case on a daily basis

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 19, 2017 4:12 pm
BJP leaders including LK Advani and MM Joshi in a meeting soon after Kar Sewaks demolished the Babri Masjid. The Supreme Court today ruled that certain BJP leaders will face criminal conspiracy charges in the demolition case. Archives/Express Photo RK Sharma

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that senior BJP leaders including LK Advani, Uma Bharti and MM Joshi will face criminal conspiracy charges in the Babri Masjid demolition case. The bench comprised Justices PC Ghose and RF Nariman.

The apex court has directed the sessions judge in Lucknow to conduct the trial in the Babri demolition case on a daily basis, and that the judge will not be transferred. It also ruled out a fresh trial in the case. The Supreme Court has also ordered the CBI to ensure that witnesses are produced in court everyday so that there is no delay in the Babri demolition case trial. The trial will have to be completed in two years.

However, the Supreme Court has clarified that Kalyan Singh, being Governor of Rajasthan, will not be tried due to constitutional immunity unless he ceases to be in that post. In effect, his trial will begin after his term as Governor ends. Singh was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the demolition took place. Others who will face criminal conspiracy charges are Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambara, Satish Pradhan, Champat Rai Bansal. The late Giriraj Kishore is also among the names in the original chargesheet.

There were two sets of cases relating to the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992. The first involved unnamed ‘karsevaks’ or volunteers, the trial of which is taking place in a Lucknow court, while the second set of cases relate to the VVIPs in a Rae Bareli court. With today’s SC order, both these cases are merged and will be heard in Lucknow.

The order comes after the CBI had petitioned the SC saying 14 people, including BJP leaders, who had been acquitted of the charges under criminal conspiracy, should be tried in the Lucknow Court. On April 6, the last hearing, the Supreme Court had reserved its order for today.

BJP leader Uma Bharti celebrates the demolition of Babri Masjid with party colleague MM Joshi at Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The Supreme Court today ruled that certain BJP leaders will face criminal conspiracy charges. Archives/Express Photo by Kedar Jain.

Reacting to the development, Congress spokesperson Salman Soz said Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh should resign and uphold the sanctity of their posts.

BJP, however, has said it will first study the court order and only then issue a statement. “We can’t say anything, will first study the court order,” party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao told News 18. Party MP Vinay Katiyar, however, says the charges against BJP leaders are baseless. “Why should leaders like Uma Bharti resign from Union Minister position, these all are baseless charges,” News 18 quoted him as saying. Supreme Court has given the verdict. Party would study the verdict in detail, party spokesperson Sambit Patra said.

NDA ally Shiv Sena, however, has called for the chargesheet to be recalled.

“The government should withdraw the chargesheet. How can (they) on one hand you do this and then talk of building Ram Mandir?” party leader Sanjay Raut told news agency ANI.

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  1. A
    Apr 19, 2017 at 10:28 pm
    India is one of the very few underdeveloped countries where Justice, in the case of leaders, drags on for years for political reasons and ends up with no justice. Justice is stupendously meddled with and the crime condoned flagrantly as in this case.
    1. D
      Apr 19, 2017 at 8:26 pm
      India has the misfurtune of being ruled by low life comunalists of two kinds. Congress is party of hindu communalist who pretend to be secular. bjpis the party of hindu communalists who pretend to be nationalist. No wonder India is so uncivilized and backward that people in god- places like bangla dedh and stan are happier than the people of India.
      1. M
        Apr 19, 2017 at 7:52 pm
        This “less interest on savings” Bhartiya Janta Party government can do anything to divert attention from economic issues. All political parties will cheer for judicial system while government further reduces interest rate on fixed deposit and small savings. Neither Hindus nor any other community are really interested in what happened twenty four years ago. This is just a small game to keep Mr.Advani and others away from Presidential elections. What a mess this government is, nothing for ordinary citizen.
        1. S
          Apr 19, 2017 at 7:38 pm
          i fully support umaji, whatever you have done we are proud of it, and indebted go to court and proudly proclaim and the nation will back you as hero. doing something good and then getting afraid of the retribution from evil forces only undo the good work you have done.
          1. Sheik Mohamed
            Apr 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm
            Why fast track court should not be created for hearing this case on priority basis, so that Justice could be meted out to those affected?
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