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SC orders joint trial in Babri Masjid demolition

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Senior BJP leaders, including L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi and Uma Bharti, may face a criminal trial in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case as the Supreme Court indicated that it might revive conspiracy charges against them and 10 others. The court gave this indication while hearing an appeal filed by the CBI in 2011, during the UPA’s regime, against the dropping of conspiracy charges by lower courts on the ground that only the demolition case and not the conspiracy  had been transferred to the premier investigation agency.

Hindu mobs had demolished the 16th-century mosque in UP’s Ayodhya, claiming it was built on the birthplace of King Rama, triggering some of India’s worst riots since partition, killing about 2,000 people.

The court did not accept the discharge of Advani and others on technical grounds and ordered (CBI) to file a supplementary charge-sheet against 13 people by including the conspiracy charges and asked the trial court to conduct a joint trial in a Lucknow court. There are two sets of cases, one against Mr Advani and 12 others who were on the dais at Ram Katha Kunj in Ayodhya when the mosque was demolished, while the other case was against unknown kar sevaks who were in and around the disputed structure.

— Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai

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