The CBI petition seeking revival of conspiracy charges against BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti and other leaders in the BabriMasjid demolition case has been deferred by two weeks by the Supreme Court on March 23.
The SC deferred the hearing after Advani’s counsel, advocate KK Venugopal, told the court that he was busy with another case. The next date of hearing is on April 6.
An SC bench headed by Justice PC Ghose and Justice RF Nariman will now hear the case after a fortnight. The bench had also suggested that cases two cases be clubbed together and taken up as one.
Justice Nariman told the CBI to include the conspiracy charges while filing a supplementary chargesheet and will ask the trial court in Lucknow to conduct the joint trial.
It may be noted here that there are two cases, in Lucknow and Raebareli, going on against Babri Masjid demolition in 1992. The two cases were lodged against BJP leaders in Ayodhya on the D-Day and the unidentified number of ‘karsevaks’ at the disputed site.
The CBI had charge sheeted Advani and 20 others under Sections 153A and B, 505 and 120B of the IPC. These charges were dismissed by a Raebareli court and upheld by Allahabad High Court. It was then that the CBI took up the matter with the SC.
With the BJP forming the government in Uttar Pradesh, the sensitive issue of constructing a Ram Mandir at the disputed site has gained prominence.