Politics

Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Others to Appear in Babri Demolition Case

L.K. Advani. Credit: PTI/Files

L.K. Advani. Credit: PTI/Files

Lucknow: A special CBI court today directed BJP stalwarts L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi and Uma Bharti to appear before it on May 30 for the framing of charges in the Babri Masjid demolition case in light of the Supreme Court order restoring the serious offence of criminal conspiracy against them.

Special CBI Judge S.K. Yadav also asked three other BJP leaders – Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambara and Vishnu Hari Dalmia – to present themselves before the court in person on that day.

He said no application for adjournment or exemption shall be entertained.

The court, which is hearing two separate cases, has already fixed May 30 for framing charges against Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahant Ram Vilas Vedanti, Baikunth Lal Sharma alias Prem Ji, Champat Rai Bansal, Dharma Das and Satish Pradhan in the other matter.

The apex court had on April 19 directed that Advani (89), Joshi (83), Bharti (58) and other accused in the case would be prosecuted for criminal conspiracy in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case. It had also ordered the trial to be concluded in two years.

The top court, which had dubbed the demolition of the medieval-era monument as a “crime” which shook the “secular fabric of the constitution”, allowed the CBI’s plea on restoration of criminal conspiracy charge against the BJP stalwarts.

However, the Supreme Court had said Kalyan Singh, who is the Rajasthan governor and during whose tenure as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh the disputed structure was razed, is entitled to immunity under the constitution as long as he holds the gubernatorial office.

It had transferred the case against Advani, Joshi, Bharti and three other accused from a Rae Bareli court to Lucknow for a joint trial in the demolition case.