Monday, 20 November, 2017

Babri Masjid demolition case: SC revives conspiracy charges against Advani, others

The conspiracy hatched in 1990 by Advani and others culminated in the demolition the CBI said and added that conspiracy charge was dropped on technical grounds and should be revived Babri Masjid demolition case: SC to announce verdict on CBI plea against dropping criminal conspiracy charges
Howard Terry | 20 April, 2017, 00:12

The Supreme Court has allowed Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) appeal challenging the withdrawal of conspiracy charges against VVIPs leaders.

However, the apex court has clarified that Kalyan Singh, being Governor of Rajasthan, will not be tried due to constitutional immunity unless he ceases to be in that post.

Singh was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the demolition of the masjid took place.

He denied the allegations and a Supreme Court-ordered inquiry absolved him of responsibility. Besides, it said that the trial court in Lucknow will frame additional charges against Advani and others and proceed against them.

"We can't say anything, will first study the court order".

It, however, made it clear that there would be no de novo (fresh) trial in the matter. SC also ordered that no adjournment would be given under normal circumstances.

Reacting to the Supreme Court's order to restore trial of Advani, Joshi and others on charges of criminal conspiracy, Togadia demanded that the government contest the CBI's plea before a larger bench to deliver justice in the case.

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.

Senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for Advani and Joshi, had vociferously opposed the proposal for holding joint trial and transferring their case from Raebareli to Lucknow.

"The destruction of the Babri Masjid by a Hindu mob in 1992 ignited the worst communal rioting across India in decades", NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from New Delhi.

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 court also gave significant directions that separate trials being conducted in trial courts at Rae Bareli and Lucknow will be clubbed together and conducted in the capital of Uttar Pradesh only. On April 6, the SC had reserved its order on initiating criminal conspiracy charges against BJP leaders.

Because the cases are two different sets. A lower court subsequently dropped the charge and the Rae Bareilly case eventually returned to the Rae Bareilly Magistrate.

Eight people died in clashes on the day of the by-election and the violence prompted the Election Commission to postpone the Anantnag by-poll. The chargesheet in this case was filed in 1994. The CBI has claimed of having solid evidence against the leaders.

"This is a very important decision before the Supreme Court". Significantly, the apex court has restored the CBI's charge of criminal conspiracy against the accused facing trial in a Rae Bareli court on the relatively mild charge of addressing an unlawful assembly.

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