Babri demolition case | Supreme Court to decide today if LK Advani, 12 others will face trial

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will on Wednesday pronounce the verdict on the appeal filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the dropping of conspiracy charges against senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh and others in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

LK Advani

On April 6, the CBI told the apex court that 14 persons, including BJP leaders, who were acquitted of the charges under criminal conspiracy should be tried in Lucknow Court in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

Justice Rohington F Nariman will pronounce the verdict.

Earlier in March, the top court had said that it won’t accept dropping of charges and might revive the demolition case against 13 BJP and Hindu right-wing leaders who were discharged on technical grounds.

The apex court also expressed concern over delay in trial against people involved in the Babri demolition and favoured a joint trial of the accused.

There are two sets of cases – one against BJP veteran LK Advani and others who were on the dais at Ram Katha Kunj in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, when the Babri mosque was demolished. The other case is against lakhs of ‘karsevaks’ (volunteers) who were in and around the disputed structure.

CBI has challenged in the Supreme Court the May 21, 2010 order of the high court, which had upheld a special court’s decision to drop the charge against the leaders.

In its verdict, the high court had upheld the special CBI court order dropping conspiracy charge against Advani, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar and Murli Manohar Joshi.

The others against whom the charge was dropped included Satish Pradhan, C R Bansal, Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Sadhvi Ritambhara, V H Dalmia, Mahant Avaidhynath, R V Vedanti, Param Hans Ram Chandra Das, Jagdish Muni Maharaj, B L Sharma, Nritya Gopal Das, Dharam Das, Satish Nagar and Moreshwar Save.

Earlier, CBI had moved the apex court against Allahabad High Court’s verdict on dropping conspiracy charge against Advani and 19 others in the case.

The CBI had chargesheeted Advani and 20 others under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between classes), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505 (false statements, rumours etc. circulated with the intent to cause mutiny or disturb public peace) of the Indian Penal Code.

The investigating agency had subsequently invoked charges under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC which was quashed by the special court.

(With agency inputs)