The Supreme Court has announced the verdict in the appeal filed by CBI regarding conspiracy charges against BJP leaders including LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharati in the case of the Babri Masjid demolition, with the apex court restoring the criminal conspiracy charges against the accused BJP leaders.
SC has given charge of the matter to Lucknow Court and issued directive that the trial is to be completed in the span of 2 years.
Criminal charges had been filed against BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh who were at the dais on the fateful day of the demolition in Ayodhya. However, Kalyan Singh has been excluded from the trial as he has constitutional immunity due to currently holding the post of Governor of Rajasthan.
The CBI has charged Advani and 20 other party leaders 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), later invoking charges under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC which were dropped by the special court.
On December 6, 1992 the 16th century Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished by a mob of hundreds of people while several BJP leaders including Advani, Joshi and Bharti were at the site attending a Ram Katha Kunj in Ayodhya. Large numbers of ‘karsevaks’ surrounded the structure which was demolished.
The controversial Ayodhya land has been claimed by both the Hindu and Muslim communities with Hindus wanting to build a Ram Mandir on the Ram Janmbhoomi, while the Muslims want to rebuild the Babri Masjid.