Advani, Bharti, Joshi to face trial in Babri demolition case
Senior BJP leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti will face trial in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case as the Supreme Court today allowed the CBI plea and restored criminal conspiracy charges against them.
The apex court also clubbed the trial in the matter pending against the leaders and 'karsevaks' and said the proceedings should be completed in two years. "We have allowed the CBI appeal against the Allahabad High Court judgement with certain directions," a bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman said. The Supreme Court, however, noted that Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh enjoys Constitutional immunity and can be tried only after he ceases to hold the office. Kalyan Singh was the chief minister of UP in 1992.
The court also gave significant directions including that separate trials being conducted in trial courts at Raebareli and Lucknow will be clubbed and conducted in the capital of Uttar Pradesh only. It also said that the trial judge of Lucknow "shall not be transferred" till conclusion and delivery of judgement in the sensational case. The apex court further said that no party shall be granted adjournment without the sessions judge being satisfied of the reasons for it and conduct day-to-day trial which should be concluded within two years. It also directed probe agency CBI to ensure that prosecution witnesses appear on each and every date for recording of evidence in the case and the trial court should start the proceedings within four weeks from today. It, however, clarified that there would be no de novo (fresh) trial in the matter.
Unfazed by the apex court order that she be tried for "conspiracy" in the case, Union minister Bharti today said she is ready to sacrifice her life for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. "Grand Ram temple in Ayodhya is my dream. Ready to go to prison or be hanged for India and Ram Mandir," the senior BJP leader told newspersons here. Putting up a brave face, the Uttar Pradesh unit of the BJP today said it has full faith in the judiciary after the apex court allowed the CBI plea.
"We will go to the trial court. This does not make us convicts," state BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi told news agency PTI here hours after the Supreme Court restored the criminal conspiracy charges against the senior BJP leaders. The Congress today said the law of the land should prevail in the Masjid demolition case and the guilty should be punished. In an initial reaction to the Supreme Court order restoring criminal conspiracy charge against top BJP leaders including L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "the Supreme Court has spoken.
Let law of the land take its own course without fear or favour. Let justice be done and guilty punished." "Law of the land is equal for everyone irrespective of stature, caste, creed, religion or region," Surjewala said.