New Delhi: The Supreme Court postponed the hearing against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharti in connection with the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case for next two weeks due to the non-availability for KK Venugopal, who appears for Advani. The apex court has also asked all the parties to file their written submissions in the case. The Supreme Court set the next hearing for April 6. Two days ago, the apex court had recommended an out of the court settlement for the Ayodhya land dispute case.
Today, the Supreme Court was to hear the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) plea against the Allahabad High Court’s order dropping criminal conspiracy charges against the BJP leaders in the case.
On Wednesday, while hearing the plea against the BJP leaders in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992, the apex court had deferred the hearing saying that the plea would be heard by a bench comprising Justice Pinaki Ghose and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman. The bench had also made it clear it will not accept dropping of conspiracy charges on technical grounds while expressing concerns over the delay in the trial against 13 BJP and VHP leaders allegedly involved in demolition of Babri Masjid.
“We prima facie do not approve of the way these people have been discharged… And no additional charge sheet filed so far? See, people cannot be discharged like this on technical grounds,” Justice Nariman observed orally then.
The Babri Masjid demolition case stemmed from two crime files (Crime No: 197/1992 and Crime No: 198/1992) against BJP veteran leader Advani and lakhs of ‘karsevaks’ (volunteers) who were in and around the disputed structure on December 6, 1992 when the Babri mosque was demolished.
On December 6 in 1992, a group of karsevaks dismantled the Babri Masjid which the Hindus believed that stood on the site of a temple that marked the birthplace of lord Ram. It is also believed that LK Advani who had led a Rath Yatra that same year were near the site and were also present at the platform from where alleged provocative speeches were made.
Following the Babri Masjid demolition, two separate FIRs were filed-one in Lucknow and the other in Raebareli. While the Lucknow FIR dealt with the actual demolition of the Masjid, the Raebareli had Advani and others who had allegedly made inflammatory speeches at the site.