NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday deferred for Thursday the hearing on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plea seeking restoration of criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
The leaders include L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Union minister Uma Bharti, Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh and others.
The Bench headed by Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, adjourned the hearing saying that it would be heard by a Bench comprising him (Justice Ghose) and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman.
The apex court is hearing an appeal filed by the CBI challenging the May 2010 Allahabad High Court decision absolving Advani and others of the charge of criminal conspiracy that led to the razing of the 16th century mosque in the Uttar Pradesh town of Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.
The high court had acquitted Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh of the charge of criminal conspiracy in the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The top court had on March 31, 2015, issued notice to Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh and others on the plea by CBI. The deferment comes a day after the apex court called for an amicable settlement to the decades-old dispute over the religious site in Ayodhya.
During a brief hearing today, counsel for Haji Mahboob Ahmad (since deceased) moved an application seeking a week’s time to file a report with regard to the status of the case in trial court. Senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for the BJP leaders, said the matter should be listed after four weeks to enable them to file some documents. But the bench refused to defer the hearing further.
The apex court had decided on March 6 to examine the appeal against dropping of conspiracy charge against the accused including Advani, Joshi and Bharti in the case related to demolition of Babri Masjid in the disputed Ramjanmabhoomi in Ayodhya in 1992.
The court had also suggested the option of ordering a joint trial of cases arising out of the two FIRs lodged in the wake of the demolition of the disputed structure. Altogether, 13 persons including Advani, Joshi and Bharti were discharged of conspiracy charge in the case, the trial of which is being held at a special court in Raebareli.