The Supreme Court has questioned why the criminal conspiracy charges against BJP leaders including LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti were dropped in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
The trial against 13 BJP leaders and other right-wing personalities accused of inciting the crowds through speeches is being conducted at a court in Rae Bareli. Another trial relating to "kar sevaks" who brought down the Babri Masjid is underway in Lucknow.
The Indian Express reported that the conspiracy charges against Advani and other BJP leaders were dropped in Lucknow because the FIR reportedly only referred to "kar sevaks."
Justices P.C. Ghose and R.F. Nariman of the Supreme Court pointed out that dropping the charge on technical grounds was inappropriate, while questioning the manner in which CBI was prosecuting the case. "People cannot be discharged like this on technical ground," the court said, The Hindustan Times reported. "Why haven't you filed the supplementary chargesheet in Rae Bareli?"
The court said, "something is peculiar about this case." "Prima facie, we don't think they can be discharged."
Something is peculiar about this case.
The Supreme Court has also suggested clubbing the two criminal cases in a joint trial to be conducted in Lucknow, The Indian Express reported. "Why don't you conduct the joint trial of both the cases? It cannot go on like this forever. It has to be decided in one way or another. We are concerned about the delay in conducting the trial."
While CBI counsel additional solicitor general Neeraj Kishan Kaul agreed to the Supreme Court's suggestion, senior advocate K.K. Venugopal, who appeared for the BJP leaders, argued that moving the case would be against the interest of the accused because examination of evidence was at an advanced stage, HT reported. Venugopal also pointed that 186 witnesses would have to be reexamined, TOI reported.
It cannot go on like this forever. It has to be decided in one way or another.
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