Insight: SC revives criminal conspiracy charges against Advani, Uma Bharti

Apr 20, 2017, 00:14
Insight: SC revives criminal conspiracy charges against Advani, Uma Bharti

The bench of Justices PC Ghose and RF Nariman also ruled that the trial judge hearing the Babri case will not be transferred until the judgement in the case is delivered. However, Kalyan Singh has been excluded from the trial as he has constitutional immunity due to now holding the post of Governor of Rajasthan.

The case would continue to be heard on a daily basis and the trial to be wound up within two years.

The court said no party shall be granted adjournment without the sessions judge being satisfied of the reasons for it.

The apex court verdict was on a CBI plea challenging the May 2010 Allahabad High Court order quashing the conspiracy charge against Advani and others.

The four party leaders are accused of making inflammatory speeches that incited thousands of their followers who had camped out in Ayodhya ahead of the attack on the mosque. The trial court had passed the order on May 4, 2001 dropping the charge against them.

The senior BJP leaders will be tried under the composite charge sheet filed by the CBI on October 5, 1993. The court said the trial must conclude within two years.

The Mughal-era mosque was torn down in December that year by rightwing Hindu nationalists who claimed it stood on the site of the birthplace of Lord Ram, a revered Hindu deity, and a destroyed, millennium-old Hindu temple.

Along with the BJP Veterans other leaders who would be tried include Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambara, Satish Pradhan, Champat Rai Bansal and late Giriraj Kishore.

The Babri demolition trial has so far been ongoing in two courts: one in Lucknow (for the kar sevaks) and one in Rae Bareli (for the leaders).

The razing of the Babri Masjid had sparked riots in several parts of India in which around 2,000 people were killed.

The clubbing of the two cases in Lucknow was strongly opposed by lawyers for Advani and his colleagues on the grounds that they involve different people as the accused.

Modi last month appointed Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand priest with a history of agitation against Muslims, as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state where Ayodhya is located, raising concerns that the prime minister was moving to redefine India as a Hindu nation.

The leaders were on the dais of Ram Katha Kunj in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished amid chants of "mandir yahin banayenge (temple will be built here)". Union Minister Uma Bharti will have to face criminal conspiracy charges. The CBI had then moved SC in February 2011.

"While the term of President Pranab Mukherjee is coming to an end on 24 July, the term of Vice President Hamid Ansari ends on 10 August".

The bench had earlier reserved the order on April 6 after the CBI and other petitioners had sought the restoration of conspiracy charge against the senior Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders.

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