Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti to face trial in Babri Masjid case

Published: Wed, 04/19/2017 - 17:11

The Supreme Court has said that the trial would be held on a day-to-day basis and will be completed within two years’ time

Hardnews Bureau Delhi


A Supreme Court ruling has spelt trouble for some prominent senior leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). According to the order, 13 top leaders of the party, including LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Minister Uma Bharati among others, will be tried for criminal conspiracy in the demolition of the 16th-century Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992.

The apex court has said that the trial would be held in Lucknow on a day-to-day basis and will be completed within two years’ time.

Advani and Joshi were originally charged with making inflammatory speeches that prompted lakhs of karsevaks (volunteers) to bring down the mosque that stands on a disputed site which is believed to be the janmasthal (birthplace) of Lord Ram. That trial was being held in Rae Bareli.

The BJP leaders, who are now facing more serious charges, will be tried in Lucknow where a separate case is being heard in which 20 people have been accused of the actual demolition of the mosque.

Kalyan Singh, who was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh at the time, will not face any trial for now as he currently occupies the post of Governor of Rajasthan and hence enjoys constitutional immunity. He will be prosecuted after his term gets over, the Supreme Court said.

The BJP leaders were unwilling to react on the matter except for a few. Vinay Katiyar, senior BJP Rajya Sabha MP and one among the 13 accused in the Ayodhya case, although refused to comment on the ruling but defended Uma Bharati, another accused in the Ayodhya demolition case. “There is no need for Uma Bharti to resign in the wake of the apex court ruling as the charges against her are baseless. We want Ram Mandir to be built soon and are ready to go to jail or given any other sacrifice for the cause,” he said on phone.

Senior lawyer and convener of the Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC), Jafarayeb Jilani said, “We are happy with the SC order and we had waited long for such directives. The SC judgment has restored the secular faith in the judiciary and strengthened the rule of law in the country.” He said, “We hope justice will now be done in the case and Section 120(B) of the IPC will be included to make the case stronger.”

Kalyan Singh, who was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh at the time, will not face any trial for now as he currently occupies the post of Governor of Rajasthan and hence enjoys constitutional immunity. He will be prosecuted after his term gets over, the Supreme Court said.

“Now the trial will gain pace but on the other hand, we hope that the Yogi Adityanath government plays no obstacle in the trial and co-operates with the CBI in ensuring that the witnesses are produced on time,” he said.

Further questioning the role of the CBI in the case, Jilani said, “We know the exact reason for the delay in the trial by the CBI but since the SC will now monitor the case itself, the role of the CBI would minimise.”

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Pramod Tiwari has welcomed the ruling. "I respect the Supreme Court for this decision. The BJP had tried its best to save the leaders but it failed,” he said.

With inputs from UNI


The Supreme Court has said that the trial would be held on a day-to-day basis and will be completed within two years’ time

Hardnews Bureau Delhi

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