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Babri Masjid case: Special court asks Advani, Bharti, Joshi to appear on 30 May

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-05-2017 PTI

Lucknow: A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Friday directed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwarts L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi and Uma Bharti to appear before it on 30 May for framing of charges in the Babri Masjid demolition case in light of the Supreme Court order restoring the serious offence of criminal conspiracy against them.

Special CBI judge S.K. Yadav also asked three other BJP leaders—Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambara and Vishnu Hari Dalmia—to present themselves before the court in person on that day. He said no application for adjournment or exemption shall be entertained.

The court which is hearing two separate cases, has already fixed 30 May for framing of charges against Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahant Ram Vilas Vedanti, Baikunth Lal Sharma alias Prem Ji, Champat Rai Bansal, Dharma Das and Satish Pradhan in the other matter.

The apex court had on 19 April directed that Advani (89), Joshi (83), Bharti (58) and other accused in the case would be prosecuted for serious offence of criminal conspiracy in the politically sensitive 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.

It had also ordered day-to-day trial to be concluded in two years. The top court, which had dubbed the demolition of the medieval-era monument as a “crime” which shook the “secular fabric of the Constitution”, allowed the CBI’s plea on restoration of criminal conspiracy charge against the BJP stalwarts.

However, the Supreme Court had said Kalyan Singh, who is the Rajasthan governor and during whose tenure as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh the disputed structure was razed, is entitled to immunity under the Constitution as long as he holds the gubernatorial office. It had transferred the case against Advani, Joshi, Bharti and three other accused from a Raebareli court to Lucknow for a joint trial in the demolition case.

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