Babri Masjid Demolition Case - BJP leaders L.K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Minister Uma Bharti charged with criminal conspiracy Tuesday May 30,2017
A Special CBI court here on Tuesday May 30,2017 charged senior BJP leaders L.K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Minister Uma Bharti with criminal conspiracy in the December 09,1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
They will now face trial in the conspiracy case almost 25 years after the Mughal-era mosque was demolished by kar sevaks.
There is “sufficient evidence on record to frame charges” against them under conspiracy and other charges, special CBI judge S.K. Yadav said in the order.
The court framed charges against the trio along with three others — BJP Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar and VHP leaders Vishnu Hari Dalmia and Sadhvi Ritambhara — under Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
A “discharge application” filed by Mr. Advani and others was rejected by the court.
The judge earlier in the proceedings, however, accepted their application for bail, which the CBI opposed, against a personal bond of ₹50,000 each. Bail was granted to all 12 accused who appeared in court in person.
Vimal Srivastava, one of the lawyers for the accused leaders, said in the discharge application submitted before the court that “there was no material against them to constitute an offence under Section 120B.” The contention was rejected by the CBI judge.
Previous charges against Mr. Advani and others under Sections147, 149, 153A, 153B and 505 of the IPC will run along the additional charge of criminal conspiracy. The previous clauses are: rioting (147), every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object (149), promoting enmity between different groups (153A), imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration (153B) and statements conducing to public mischief (505).
Apart from the six mentioned above, the court also framed charges against half-a-dozen other accused persons in the Babri Masjid demolition, most of them connected with the Sangh Parivar.
These are former BJP MP Ram Vilas Vedanti, Mahant Nrityagopal Das of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, Shiv Sena leader Satish Pradhan, VHP leader Champat Rai, Mahant Dharmdas and B.L. Sharma.
This was the first time Mr. Advani and other top BJP leaders have appeared before a court in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition case after the Supreme Court in April used its extraordinary constitutional powers under Article 142 to restore the criminal conspiracy charges framed against them.
The Supreme Court of India(SCI) overruled the Allahabad High Court judgment dropping the charges. The Allahabad HC had in 2010 upheld a special CBI court’s decision to drop conspiracy charges against Mr Advani and others in 2001.
The Special CBI court has been directed by the SC to conduct daily hearing of the case. On whether Mr. Advani and others will have to be present in person for the daily trial, Mr. Srivastava, the defence counsel, told
Along with the 12 leaders, two other accused, BJP MP from Unnao, Sakshi Maharaj and Pawan Pandey were also present in court. “It was punya. I did not commit any crime…No force can stop the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya,” said Sakshi Maharaj as he entered the court.
“There has been no decision since 1992. Many people died in course of the case. Justice should be done quickly. And the same hurry should be shown in the construction of a Ram Mandir,” he added.