The Supreme Court on Wednesday is expected to pronounce the verdict on the appeal filed by CBI against dropping of conspiracy charges regarding the Babri Masjid demolition case against BJP leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and 19 others.
The apex court was due to hear two cases in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition, the first involving criminal charges 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 and the second against lakhs of party workers who surrounded the structure on that day.
Although both cases were initially being fought separately, on May 7 the Supreme Court announced its decision to address both the cases involving the Babri Masjid simultaneously for a joint trial.
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.