SC asks Advani, others to explain Babri demolition
31 March 2015
The Supreme Court today sought responses from senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former home minister L K Advani and others on a plea against the dropping of criminal conspiracy charges against them in the Babri Masjid demolition case by investigation agency CBI.
A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu issued notices to Advani and the Central Bureau of Investigation on a plea filed by Haji Mahboob Ahmad, one of the petitioners in the case.
Ahmad alleges that the CBI may dilute its stand in the wake of the change in the government at the centre, where the BJP swept to power last year.
Earlier, the CBI had moved the apex court against an Allahabad High Court verdict on dropping conspiracy charge against Advani and 19 others in Babri mosque demolition case.
During the brief hearing, CBI 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 to file the response.
The apex court had earlier pulled up CBI for the delay in filing an appeal against the high court verdict.
The CBI has challenged in the Supreme Court the 21 May 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, C R 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 6 December 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.
The CBI had charge-sheeted 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 IPC.
It had subsequently invoked charges under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, which was quashed by the special court whose decision was upheld by the high court.
While upholding the special court's order, the high court had said CBI at no point of time, either during the trial at Rae Bareily or in its revision petition, ever stated that there was offence of criminal conspiracy against the leaders.