Babri Masjid demolition: Won’t accept dropping of charges against LK Advani, other on technical grounds, says SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday said that it won’t accept dropping of charges against senior BJP leader LK Advani and others in connection with the Babri Demolition case.

The top court indicated that it might revive demolition case against 13 BJP and Hindu right-wing leaders who were discharged on technical ground and were likely to face conspiracy charges in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

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

The court was hearing a petition in the Babri masjid demolition case opposing the dropping of criminal conspiracy charges.

LK Advani, Union Minister Uma Bharti, Murli Manohar Joshi were present at the site when the 16th century mosque, built by one of the generals of Mughal Emperor Babar was pulled by a mob on December 6, 1992.

There are two sets of cases – one against BJP veteran L.K. 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 PTI-ANI inputs)