Babri Masjid demolition case: Supreme Court wants joint trial of all accused
Supreme Court of Indiacalls for speedy trial with Advani, Uma Bharti to face charges again.
The Supreme Court of India has expressed its concern over the pace of the proceedings of Babri Masjid demolition case and is going to take a decision on those accused on 22 March. The apex court has called for a joint trial and is likely to club the Raebareli and Lucknow cases. The cases pending in the two cities will be heard in Lucknow.
According to The Financial Express, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders LK Advani, Uma Bharti and Murli Manohar Joshi are likely to face conspiracy charges in the case. In 2010, Allahabad high court had discharged Advani and other senior leaders of the party and Hindu outfits on charges of criminal conspiracy in the 1992 demolition of the 16th Century mosque. Hindustan Times reported, the decision was taken after a bench of justices RS Nariman and PC Ghosh heard a CBI petition challenging the Allahabad High Court’s dropping of conspiracy charges against these leaders..
According to The Times of India, The CBI had moved the apex court on 18 February, 2011 against the Allahabad court’s verdict. The CBI had issued a charge sheet against Advani and 20 others under sections 153A IPC (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).
However, it subsequently invoked charges of criminal conspiracy which were quashed by the special court with the decision being upheld by the high court. The court order of May 2010 had said that there was no merit in the petition by the CBI.
The demolition was historically one of the biggest events in post-partition era.The RSS-led organisations have been trying to push for pushing the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site as they believe Ram was born there. NDTV reports say, the apex court told CBI that they will not accept the discharge of Advani and others on technical grounds. The court will allow CBI to file a supplementary charge sheet against 13 persons by including the conspiracy charges. The Supreme Court will ask the trial court to conduct a joint trial. The decision comes just days before the last phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and the results of five Assembly electiosn.
Advani’s lawyer had opposed this and told the court that if charges are added, then 183 witnesses who had deposed at the Raebareli lower court would have to be called again. Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s name was also there on the list of accused but it was removed after his death.
Courtesy: First Post