According to the Supreme Court, LK Advani, MM Joshi, Uma Bharti and 13 others will be tried for criminal conspiracy in the 25-year-old Babri Masjid demolition cases.
The CBI Court in Lucknow will ensure that the verdict is delivered in two years and for that daily hearing will take place in the court. According to the Supreme Court’s directions separate trials, which are being conducted in trial courts at Raebareli and Lucknow will be clubbed. The case which will be transferred to the Lucknow court will start four weeks from 19 April.
The ruling came on an appeal filed by the CBI against Allahabad HC’s order. The appeal was based on the disagreement on charging the BJP leaders with criminal conspiracy.
The demolition took on December 6, 1992, when the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) organised a rally at the site Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The rally involved 150,000 volunteers, also known as ‘kar sevaks’.
The rally turned violent, and the crowd overpowered security forces and tore down the mosque. It was believed that the BJP leaders made inflammatory speeches during the rally which encouraged the mob to tear down the Babri mosque.
Sixty-eight people were found responsible for the demolition which included several BJP and VHP leaders.
The demolition resulted in an inter-communal riot which continued for several months and resulted in the death of 2,000 people.
The CBI had charge-sheeted 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 (IPC).
There will be no de novo (fresh) trial in the matter, clarified the apex court.