NEW DELHI, April 19 (SABAH): Indian Supreme Court restored criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders, including L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti in the Babri Masjid demolition case on Wednesday.
A bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman pronounced the judgment and ordered the clubbing of separate trials being conducted in trial courts at Rae Bareli and Lucknow. The bench ordered that a clubbed trial be conducted in the capital of Uttar Pradesh only, to be completed in two years, Indian media reported.
It ruled that there will be no fresh trial because of the framing of conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders. However, Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh, who enjoys Constitutional immunity, can be tried only after he ceases to hold the office.
The Indian SC said the trial will proceed on a day-to-day basis and on no grounds will it be adjourned. It further stated that the judges presiding over the case will not be transferred till the trial is concluded and judgment is pronounced.
It also directed probe agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to ensure that prosecution witnesses appear on each and every date for recording of evidence in the case and the trial court should start the proceedings within four weeks from this date.
Two sets of cases relating to the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992 were filed. The first set of cases involved unnamed ‘karsevaks,’ the trial of which is taking place in a Lucknow court, while the second set relates to the VVIPs in a Rae Bareli court.
On April 6, the bench had indicated that they may order holding a joint trial of the two sets of cases by transferring the trial from Rae Bareli to the Lucknow court.
Senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for Advani and Joshi, had vociferously opposed the proposal for holding a joint trial and transferring their case from Rae Bareli to Lucknow.
The CBI had clarified that it would not make any submission in the trial of the accused VVIPs, and would restrict itself to the restoration of the charge of conspiracy against them.
The apex court had earlier decided to examine the appeal against dropping of the conspiracy charge against Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti and 10 others.