Saturday, March 5, 2011

Court notice to Advani, 20 others

New Delhi, March 4, 2011

On CBI\'s appeal against dropping of conspiracy charge in Babri Masjid demolition case

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, Uma Bharti and 17 others, seeking their response to the CBI\'s appeal against the dropping of the conspiracy charge against them in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

After hearing Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam, a Bench of Justices V.S. Sirpurkar and T.S. Thakur issued the notice. The CBI has appealed against the judgment of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court upholding the dropping of the conspiracy charge by the special court against 21 accused.

On May 20, 2010, the High Court upheld the special court\'s order of May 4, 2001 and dismissed the CBI\'s revision petition for a direction to proceed with the conspiracy charge against Mr. Advani and others. Since the appeal was filed after nine months, the Bench issued notice on the question of delay too.

Mr. Advani and 20 others faced charges in two cases arising out of two FIRs. In the first FIR, the conspiracy alleged against "lakhs of unknown kar sevaks" was for the offence of demolition (case no.197). The second one, which charged Mr. Advani and other leaders with having made inflammatory speeches that led to the demolition (case no.198), was tried in a special court at Rae Bareli.

The two cases were later merged and handed over to the CBI, which filed a composite charge-sheet on October 5, 1993. But, owing to a technical flaw, the two cases were revived by the High Court through a February 12, 2001order. On May 4, 2001, the sessions judge dropped the conspiracy charge against Mr. Advani and others on the ground that the case no.197 related only to kar sevaks. This was upheld by the High Court last year. The present appeal is against this order.

Mr. Subramaniam said it was erroneous to say the 21 persons were not entitled to be tried in case no. 197, but should be tried in case no. 198. As a result of the High Court judgment, about 200 witnesses would have to be examined in the case 198 in addition to case no. 197.

Justice Sirpurkar told Mr. Subramaniam: "Why Uttar Pradesh had not issued a fresh notification. The 2001 judgment was approved by this court. The CBI had filed a supplementary charge-sheet in the Rae Bareli court. Now two trials are going on in Lucknow and Rae Bareli. Why should we allow you to do it now after 10 years without there being a formal notification? We can\'t put the clock back," he said.

News From:

No comments:

eXTReMe Tracker