The Supreme Court, on Thursday, is likely to examine whether to revive the conspiracy charges against senior Bharatiya Janata Party senior leaders, Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh and several others of the party in connection with the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
It was in May 2010, when the CBI had challenged the Allahabad High Court order confirming the lower court’s decision to drop conspiracy charges against the BJP veterans.
Advani, Joshi and a dozen others including Vinay Katiyar and Kalyan Singh were released by a court in Raebareli from conspiracy charges in the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya in December 1992 by Hindu activists who believed it was built on the birthplace of Lord Ram. However, the main case against the activists is pending in the Lucknow trial court.
Earlier in April, the Supreme Court had told the CBI that it will not accept the discharge of Advani and others on technical grounds. “We will allow you (CBI) to file a supplementary charge-sheet against 13 persons by including the conspiracy charges. We will ask the trial court to conduct a joint trial,” the Supreme Court had said.
If the apex court orders for a joint trial, it would mean that Advani and other leaders will be tried for participating in a criminal conspiracy that led to the demolition of the Babri mosque, along with charges on instigating a crowd through provocative speeches.
The case is set to be heard by a bench comprising of Justices PC Ghose and RF Nariman. Last month, the Chief Justice of India JS Khehar had suggested an out of court settlement for the dispute.
There are two cases related to the demolition, the first is against BJP veteran leader Advani and others, who were on the dais at “Ram Katha Kunj” around 200 metres from the mosque site in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 when the Babri mosque was demolished.
The second case is against lakhs of unknown karsevaks who were in and around the disputed structure and are accused of pulling down the three domes in an act that changed the face of Indian politics and caused a deep rift between two communities.
The CBI had chargesheeted 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).
It had subsequently invoked charges under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, which was quashed by the special court whose decision was upheld by the high court.