The Supreme Court indicated today that senior BJP leaders may face trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case of 1992.
A report by NDTV says that a court-order on March 22 will indicate whether the 89-year-old Advani and others, including Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Minister Uma Bharti will be on trial for conspiracy. The charge had been dropped earlier by the lower courts.
A dozen people including Advani were released by a Rae Bareilly court in a conspiracy case after Hindu activists brought down the 16th century mosque. They believe it is the birthplace of Lord Ram.
The case against the Karsevaks is still awaiting closure in a trial court in Lucknow.
The court reportedly told the CBI that “We will not accept the discharge of Advani and others on technical grounds. We will allow you (CBI) to file a supplementary chargesheet against 13 persons by including the conspiracy charges. We will ask the trial court to conduct a joint trial.”
The Supreme Court bench of Justices PC Ghosh and RF Nariman made the observation today while hearing two petitions filed by the CBI and Haji Mahboob Ahmad.
Earlier, the CBI had challenged an Allahabad High Court order in May 2010 which confirmed the lower court’s decision to drop charges against the BJP veteran and others.
Advani’s lawyer reportedly opposed the apex court saying that the 183 witnesses who deposed at the lower court would have to be called again.
Advani’s case forms part of the cases filed in the Babri Masjid demolition episode. There is the case against him and other BJP leaders who were on the dais at the event and the other is against the lakhs of karsevaks who carried out the demolition.