Nearly 25 years after the infamous demolition of the Babri Masjid mosque, the Supreme Court may order a joint trial of the pending cases against the accused, reviving charges of criminal conspiracy against senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, among others.
The two cases have been pending in Lucknow and Rae Bareli courts in Uttar Pradesh. In 2010, the Allahabad High Court confirmed the decision by a lower court to drop charges of conspiracy against Advani and others leaders of the BJP, but the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) subsequently challenged that decision.
"We will not accept the discharge of Advani and others on technical grounds. We will allow you (CBI) to file a supplementary chargesheet against 13 persons by including the conspiracy charges. We will ask the trial court to conduct a joint trial," NDTV reported the Supreme Court as saying.
The apex court will likely make a final decision on the charges against Advani and others on March 22.
The Babri mosque, a sixteenth century monument, was destroyed in 1992 by a Hindu mob, claiming the site had been the birthplace of the Hindu deity Ram before it was built. The incident led to one of India's bloodiest communal riots, killing 2,000 people and is observed as 'black day,' denoting a dark spot in the country's secular values. Advani and Joshi were present at the site when the mosque was demolished.
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