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  India   All India  23 Mar 2017  Supreme Court to hear CBI plea on Babri case today

Supreme Court to hear CBI plea on Babri case today

THE ASIAN AGE. | J VENKATESAN
Published : Mar 23, 2017, 3:04 am IST
Updated : Mar 23, 2017, 6:59 am IST

The hearing was deferred as one of the judges, Justice Rohinton Nariman, was sitting in a different combination.

Supreme Court of India (Photo: PTI)
 Supreme Court of India (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday posted for hearing on Thursday the appeal filed by CBI in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case, challenging the dropping of conspiracy charges against senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani and others.

The hearing was deferred as one of the judges, Justice Rohinton Nariman, was sitting in a different combination. Sitting with Justice Pinaki Chandra Chose on March 10, Justice Nariman had hinted at reviving the conspiracy charge against the accused and the matter was listed today for final hearing.

Besides Mr Advani, other accused in the case included Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Giriraj Kishore, Vishnu Hari Dalmia, Vinay Katiyar and Sadvi Ritambara.

However, on Wednesday, the case was listed before a bench of Justices Pinaki Ghose and Deepak Gupta and there was speculation that the bench was changed. However setting at rest the speculation, Justice Ghose told the counsel that since Justice Nariman is sitting in a different combination today the matter will be taken up on Thursday when he will sit with Justice Nariman.

While Additional Solicitor General Neeraj Kishan Kaul for the CBI agreed for adjournment tomorrow, senior counsel K.K. Venugopal for Advani wanted the hearing to be deferred for a month. The bench declined the request and posted the case for final hearing on Thursday

The appeal filed by CBI during the UPA regime was strongly opposed by Advani and others on the ground that it was done for political reasons belatedly after nine months after the High Court verdict. It was expected that the CBI under the NDA regime will change its stand now. But curiously the CBI maintained its earlier position that conspiracy charge should be included against all the accused. The ASG indicated that he will strongly argue for the appeal to be allowed.      

On May 4, 2001, the sessions court dropped the conspiracy charges against Mr. Advani and others and this was upheld by the High Court. The present appeal is against this order.

If the apex court passes its final order after the hearing those who had indulged in actual demolition will be tried together along with the offences relating to snatching of cameras and assault of media persons. The offences of instigation, facilitation, the actual demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992, the continuous assault on the media persons all form a single connected transaction and might also be a concerted conspiracy under Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code.

There are two sets of cases — one against Advani and 12 others who were on the dais at Ram Katha Kunj in Ayodhya in December 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished, while the other case was against unknown ‘karsevaks’ who were in and around the disputed structure (case no 197) in Lucknow. The second FIR, which specifically charged Mr. Advani and other leaders with making inflammatory speeches and conspiracy to demolish (case no 198) was tried in a special court in Rae Bareli  

Specifically, the CBI has pressed charges against these accused under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), namely, 153A and 153B (spreading communal frenzy), 147 (rioting), 149 (committing a criminal act with a common object), and 505 (creating ill will among different classes at a place of worship). The charge of criminal conspiracy if added under Section 120B of IPC will make each of the accused responsible for the demolition, even if they were not directly involved in the actual commission of the crime of demolition.

Tags: supreme court, babri masjid demolition, lal krishna advani
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi