Babri Masjid demolition: SC notice to BJP leader LK Advani, M M Joshi and 18 others
New Delhi, March 21: Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to BJP leader LK Advani, M M Joshi and 18 others in Babri masjid demolition case. The judgment has come on a petition filed by Haji Mehmood, alleging conspiracy in the case.
The apex court has also asked Central bureau of Investigation to explain why it delayed appealing order to drop charges against Advani. The Court has given 4 weeks time to CBI.
Besides the two, union Minister Uma Bharti and Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh also have been issued notice. The Allahabad High Court on May 20, 2010, absolved them of the conspiracy charges in the 22 years old case.
An apex court bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra issued notice as senior counsel Kapil Sibal told the court that a fresh application has been moved by Haji Mahboob Ahmed challenging the high court verdict.
The investigating agency had challenged the Allahabad High Court's May 20, 2010, judgment discharging top BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders of conspiracy charges.
The CBI in its appeal before the apex court had said that the verdict discharging Advani and others of the offence of criminal conspiracy "is inconsistent with the previous judgment rendered by the Allahabad High Court on February 12, 2001".
The CBI which had moved the apex court February 18, 2011, nearly nine months after the Allahabad High Court verdict May 20, 2010, has yet to persuade the court on the justification for delay in challenging the high court order.
The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court by its February 12, 2001 order had held that the trial court committed no illegality in taking "cognizance of joint consolidated charge sheet and all the offences were committed in the course of the same transaction to accomplish the conspiracy".
The high court by its said order had noted that the "evidence for all the offences was almost the same".
Besides Advani, other accused include senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders MM Joshi, Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Hari Dalmiya, Sadhvi Ritambrara, and Mahant Avaidyanath.
(with inputs from IANS)