The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing, related to the Babri Masjid demolition case involving senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, to Thursday. A bench headed by Justice PC Ghose stated it will take up the matter on Thursday when Justice RF Nariman, who was present during the last hearing, will be back.
What are the cases?
Two sets of cases were filed in regard to the Babri Masjid demolition. One is FIR No. 197/1992 which was filed against unknown karsevaks involved in the demolition of the structure. The second is FIR No. 198/1992 which was filed against top leaders like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar, and others.
In 1993, the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a composite chargesheet accusing LK Advani and others of ‘conspiracy’. In 2001, the charges against prominent people, including Advani and Kalyan Singh, were dropped. The CBI then filed a revised petition.
In 2010, the Allahabad High Court upheld a special court’s decision to dismiss the plea by the CBI to revive criminal conspiracy charges against LK Advani and other leaders. The high court had pointed out there was no merit in the investigating agency’s revised petition against the 2001 order of the special court that had directed dropping criminal conspiracy charges. It had pointed out that at no point in time—either at the trial in Rae Bareli or in the revised petition—the investigating agency had stated there were criminal conspiracy charges against the accused. The CBI then moved the Supreme Court challenging the high court verdict.
Supreme Court decides to examine appeal
On March 6, the Supreme Court decided to examine the plea against dropping criminal conspiracy charges against the accused. The top court also gave an option of a joint trial of cases arising out of the two FIRs. The clubbing of two FIRs was opposed by the counsel for the accused on the ground that there were different sets of persons named as accused in the two cases, the trial of which were at an advanced stage at two different places. They were of the view that joint trial would lead to the beginning of proceedings de novo (afresh).
Persons whom the CBI had charged
Murli Manohar Joshi
C R Bansal
V H Dalmia
R V Vedanti
Param Hans Ram Chandra Das
Jagdish Muni Maharaj
B L Sharma
Nritya Gopal Das
Bal Thackeray (His name was removed from the list of accused persons after his death)
Charges filed by the CBI
Section 153A of the IPC—promoting enmity between classes
Section 153B of the IPC—imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration
Section 505 of the IPC—false statements, rumours etc. circulated with the intent to cause mutiny or disturb public peace
The CBI subsequently added charges under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC which was quashed by the special court. This decision was upheld by Allahabad high court.
Source: Livelaw.in, PTI
Excerpts from the Lierberhan Commission Conclusions
The single-minded agenda of the RSS and the VHP; and the extremely patient and focused manner in which the handful of ideologues and theologians manipulated the common masses and turned them into a frenzied mob, capable of acts of the greatest depravity agenda, is unparalleled in recent times.
Immediately after entering into office, the government of Uttar Pradesh headed by Kalyan Singh embarked on the pogrom leading up to the events of December 6th, 1992.
Before during and even after the demolition of the disputed structure had been accomplished, Kalyan Singh and his henchmen proudly owned up to and proclaimed the demolition to be their great success. Even in his post demolition speeches, Kalyan Singh claimed all credit for the demolition and in fact sought to glorify their role by equating themselves with the heroes of the 1857 first war of independence.
When push came to shove, the senior police officers were at hand to ensure that their men toed the line and that the demolition of the disputed structure was allowed to go ahead with military precision as orchestrated by the leaders present at the spot and carried out by their henchmen whom they refused to identify even before me.