‘A shot in the arm for Babri case accused’

Experts feel SC ruling will have minimal or no impact on the ongoing trial court case.

Published: 10th November 2019 08:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th November 2019 08:01 AM   |  A+A-

Police and RAF personnel patrol the streets in Ayodhya after the SC verdict

Police and RAF personnel patrol the streets in Ayodhya after the SC verdict (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: With the Supreme Court observing that the pulling down of Babri Masjid was in violation of law, it is interesting to see what lies ahead for high-profile accused in the demolition case like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh.Legal experts feel the SC’s observations will have minimal or no impact on the case going on in a trial court. 

“This is a title suit in which the declaration of title relates back to the time the suit was filed. On the date of the suit in 1989, the Muslim side had lost their rights over the mosque. The Hindus have merely claimed a public right; today’s judgment itself makes it clear.  So, either the Shilanyas could now say that Advani acted as their agent back then and cleared the mosque for them or Advani himself could say so now. 

“The apex court or any other court would be powerless to force the ongoing trial to move forward in such event on the charge of destruction of the mosque and connected offences such as trespass,” senior advocate K V Dhananjay said.The apex court in its ruling said, “The Constitution must ensure that a wrong committed must be remedied.

Justice would not prevail if the Court were to overlook the entitlement of the Muslims who have been deprived of the structure of the mosque through means which should not have been employed in a secular nation committed to the rule of law.”

Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court Ashwani Dubey echoed Dhananjay’s views saying if anything, the observation could be beneficial for the likes of Advani, Bharti and Joshi.

“Firstly, they are two different cases. Also, the case is not in front of the SC. Hence, the SC’s observation not the Babri Masjid demolition will hold any impact on the case in Rae Bareli,” he said.

Two other senior lawyers also said that either the observation will bear no significance on the trial or would help the BJP leaders. On the court saying the installation of an idol in 1949 was an act of desecration, the lawyers were of the opinion that despite the observation, the bench made it clear that the faith of the Hindus that Lord Ram was born at the site is undisputed. 

LK Advani, former deputy PM

  •  Held a rath yatra which culminated in Babri demolition

  •  Charged under IPC Sections 120B, 147, 149, 153, 153B and 505

  •  Charged with criminal conspiracy, rioting, promoting enmity; statements conducing to public mischief etc.

Kalyan Singh, former CM of UP

  •  Was the CM of UP when Masjid was demolished in 1992

  •  Charged under Sections 153A, 153B, 295, 295A, 505 and 120B

  •  Sections relate to promoting enmity between different groups; imputations prejudicial to national integration, defiling place of worship, deliberate acts to outrage religious feelings etc.

Uma Bharti, former Union minister

  •  BJP leader at the time of Babri Masjid demolition, participated in rath yatra

  •  Charged under Section 120B

  •  Said she was no way involved in the demolition

M M Joshi, former Union minister

  •  Participated in Advani’s yatra 

  •  Has been charged under Section 120B

Vinay Katiyar, BJP MP

  •  Charged with criminal conspiracy

  •  Said there was no conspiracy as the mosque was openly razed

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