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Babri Masjid demolition case: SC issues notice to Advani, Joshi, 18 others

lk_advaniThe Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to senior Bharatiya Janata Partyleader LK Advani and 19 others on a petition challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict discharging them of criminal conspiracy in the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 06, 1992.

Besides Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Union Minister Uma Bharti and Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh also have been issued notice.

A bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra issued notices to the BJP leader and the CBI as senior counsel Kapil Sibal told the court that a fresh application has been moved by Haji Mahboob Ahmad, one of the petitioners in the Babri mosque case, challenging the high court verdict. The Allahabad High Court had on May 20, 2010, absolved them of the conspiracy charges in the 22 years old case.

Ahmad, in his plea, has alleged that CBI may dilute its stand in the wake of the change in the government at the Centre.

Earlier, the CBI had moved the apex court against Allahabad High Court’s verdict.

During the brief hearing, CBI today sought time for filing a fresh affidavit on delay in filing the appeal and on the merits of the case.

The court allowed the plea of the probe agency and granted four weeks time to file the response.

The apex court had earlier pulled up CBI for the delay in filing an appeal against the Allahabad High Court verdict.

The CBI has challenged in the Supreme Court the May 21, 2010 order of the high court, which had upheld a special court’s decision to drop the charge against the leaders.

In its verdict, the high court had upheld the special CBI court order dropping conspiracy charge against Advani, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar and Murli Manohar Joshi.

The others against whom the charge was dropped included Satish Pradhan, CR Bansal, Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Sadhvi Ritambhara, VH Dalmia, Mahant Avaidhynath, RV Vedanti, Param Hans Ram Chandra Das, Jagdish Muni Maharaj, BL Sharma, Nritya Gopal Das, Dharam Das, Satish Nagar and Moreshwar Save.

Bal Thackeray’s name was removed from the list of accused persons after his death.

While upholding the special court’s order, the high court had allowed CBI to proceed with other charges against Advani and others in a Rae Bareily court, under whose jurisdiction the case falls.

The May 2010 order of the high court had said there was no merit in CBI’s revision petition against the May 4, 2001 order of the special court which had directed dropping of criminal conspiracy charge against them.

There are two sets of cases — one against Advani and others who were on the dais at Ram Katha Kunj in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 when the Babri mosque was demolished, while the other case was against lakhs of unknown ‘karsevaks’ who were in and around the disputed structure.

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