Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar too summoned in Babri case
Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, and Union Minister Uma Bharti, are expected to appear before a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here on Tuesday in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
On May 25, the court summoned the leaders to appear before it in person on May 30 for the framing of charges against them.
The BJP leaders had moved court seeking exemption from appearance but the court said they would be allowed no such relaxation.
This is the first time that the leaders would appear before a court in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition case after the Supreme Court in April restored the criminal conspiracy charges framed against them, overruling the Allahabad High Court judgment that dropped the charges.
Along with the trio, BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Vishnu Hari Dalmia, Ram Vilas Vedanti, Sadhvi Ritambara, Mahant Nritya Gopaldas, Mahant Dharamdas, Champat Rai and Satish Pradhan are also scheduled to appear before the court.
The Special CBI court is conducting a daily hearing of the December 6, 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case, in which Mr. Advani, Mr. Joshi and Ms. Bharti, among others, are accused of criminal conspiracy.
The apex court had in April used its extraordinary constitutional powers under Article 142 to revive the criminal charges against the BJP leaders. The court also transferred the Rae Bareli case in the demolition and clubbed it with the Lucknow case pending before a CBI Special Court.
While the case in Rae Bareli accuses Mr. Advani, Mr. Joshi, Ms. Bharti and other BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders of giving provocative speeches, the case in Lucknow is against “lakhs of unknown kar sevaks” and deals with the actual act of demolition of the mosque, and violence.
The SC, however, exempted Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, who was the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister at the time of the incident, from facing trial as of now.
The trial, on a day-to-day basis, is to be completed in two years, the apex court ordered.