The Supreme Court today restored the criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders like Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti in the Babri Masjid Demolition case. Following the SC verdict, the senior leaders would have to face the full trial on conspiracy charges in the case, according to ANI.
The case dates back to December 6, 1992 when kar sevaks of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) demolished Babri Masjid, a centuries-old Islamic structure in Ayodhya. The incident triggered communal riots across the country, claiming lives of over 3000 people, according to reports. The site of the mosque was disputed as many Hindus believed, and continue to believe now, that it is the birthplace of Lord Ram.
The criminal cases in the Babri demolition incident were registered under two crime files. While the first file dealt with lakhs of ‘kar sevaks’ accused of demolishing the mosque, the second crime file had the case against 13 leaders like Advani, Joshi, Kalyan Singh, Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti and late VHP chief Ashok Singhal.
The apex court on Wednesday made it clear that no adjournment in the case would be given under normal circumstances. No judge, hearing the case, would be transferred, ANI reports. In its verdict today, the SC also made it clear that no case would be filed against Kalyan Singh, who now holds the post of Governor of Rajasthan.
The Babri Masjid demolition conspiracy case against these leaders would now be shifted from a court in Rae Bareli to Lucknow.
Some other leaders facing criminal conspiracy charges are Sadhvi Ritambara, Satish Pradhan, Champat Rai Bansal and Late Giriraj Kishore.
The CBI had filed a plea in the SC for restoring the charge of conspiracy against the leaders. While doing so, the CBI had clarified that it was not making any submission on the issue of the trial of these VVIP leaders. However, the accused leaders were discharged of the conspiracy charges by the Allahabad High Court. The high court had said that at no point of time, either during the trial at Rae Bareli or in its revision petition, ever stated that there was offence of criminal conspiracy against the leaders.
Some of the BJP leaders, who would now face the trial, were among the probable Presidential candidates.
(With agency inputs)