Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti have been asked to appear before a Lucknow court on May 30 in connection with the Babri mosque demolition case. The court said it will frame charges against the accused in the case on the said date.
The court asked the leaders to appear before it and made it clear that no exemptions will be made.
A special CBI court is hearing the case against LK Advani and others after the Supreme Court last month ordered restoration of criminal conspiracy charges against them.
WHAT IS THE CASE
After demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, two FIRs were registered in connection with the incident.
While the case of 28 accused was taken up in Lucknow CBI court, six of them died. Advani and seven other were charges sheeted in Raebareli court. Two of them – VHP leaders Ashok Singhal and Giriraj Kishore died pending trial.
The Supreme Court had on April 19 directed that former deputy prime minister Advani, Union Minister Uma Bharti and BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi will face trial on conspiracy charges. It had also transferred their case from Raebareli to Lucknow.
Besides the BJP three leaders, the conspiracy charge would now be invoked against Vinay Katiar, Sadhvi Ritambara and Vishnu Hari Dalmia, who were being tried at Raebareli.
It directed the special court to start proceedings in the matter within a month and deliver its verdict within two years.
The apex court had dubbed the demolition of the medieval era monument as a “crime” which shook the “secular fabric of the Constitution” and allowed CBI’s plea for restoration of serious offence of criminal conspiracy against the VVIP accused.
In its 40-page verdict, it had termed the Allahabad High Court’s February 12, 2001, verdict dropping a conspiracy charge against Advani and others as “erroneous”.
The matter is likely to have political implications, particularly against 89-year old Advani, reported being an in the case for the post of the President.
The Supreme Court had also come down heavily on the CBI for the delay of 25 years in the trial.
(With PTI inputs)