NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani and his colleagues accused in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case have told the Supreme Court that a CBI plea that challenged the quashing of conspiracy charges against them amounted to abuse of process of law.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has challenged an Allahabad High Court order that upheld the quashing of conspiracy charges against them by a Lucknow Special Court (Ayodhya Prakaran).
In their common reply, Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Kathiyar and other accused contended that the filing of the appeal by the CBI was barred by time and was an abuse of the process of law.
The apex court bench of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice C.K. Prasad took exception to Additional Solicitor General Vivek Tankha describing the matter as a famous Babri Masjid case and said that "it was neither famous nor infamous but an incident that had happened".
The case would come up for final hearing March 27.
As senior counsel Ravi Shankar Prasad, appearing for Advani and other BJP leaders, told the court that the matter was barred by time, the court said it would hear the matter.
The Allahabad High Court May 20, 2010, upheld the May 4, 2001, order of the special court (Ayodhya Prakaran) dropping the conspiracy charge against the former deputy prime minister and his party colleagues involved in the Ayodhya agitation.
The high court had also dismissed the revision petition by the CBI.
The CBI challenged before the apex court the high court order that rejected its plea for slapping conspiracy charges against Advani and others. The probe agency moved the apex court after a delay of nine months.
Notice to Advani and others on the CBI plea was issued March 4, 2011.
Following the demolition of Babri Masjid Dec 6, 1992, police had registered two cases. One of them was against the kar sevaks and the other was against Advani and other BJP leaders and Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackerey, accusing them of conspiracy and abetment to demolish the disputed religious structure in Ayodhya.