A special court in Lucknow hearing the Babri demolition case on Friday deferred the framing of charges against BJP leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Rithambhara and Vishnu Hari Dalmia as none of them appeared for the hearing. CBI Special Counsel Ram Kumar Yadav said: “The court has fixed May 30 as the next date for framing of charges against the six accused. The court has also directed that no exemption would be entertained on the next date from any of the accused.”
The leaders sought exemption through lawyers for attending proceedings. Defence lawyer Manish Tripathi, who moved the applications for exemption on behalf of all six accused, told The Indian Express, “We informed the court that the accused could not attend the proceeding due to personal reasons and also that they all had to go out of station over some necessary causes.” “This case against Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti and others was earlier being heard in Rae Bareli, and transferred to Lucknow recently on the directive of SC. The additional charge under Section 120B (conspiracy) has to be framed against all these accused as per the directive,” said Yadav.
The court had on Thursday fixed May 30 for the framing of charges against six other accused, who recently had got bail in the Lucknow case, as five of them did not appear to attend the proceeding fixed for May 25. The six are former BJP MPs Ram Vilas Vedanti and Baikunth Lal Sharma, former Shiv Sena MP Satish Pradhan, Ram Janmbhoomi Nyas president Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, VHP international general secretary Champat Rai and the Nyas’s invited member Mahant Dharam Das.