After granting bail to all 12 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case, the special CBI court ruled that criminal conspiracy charges be framed against BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, among others.
The court rejected discharge applications filed by the leaders.
The Times of India reported that the court gave the leaders bail on personal bonds of ₹50,000 each.
The lawyer appearing for the accused said:
In a order dated 19 April, Supreme Court had directed the special court to start proceedings with conspiracy charges against Advani, Uma Bharti and Murli Manohar Joshi in the 6 December, 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
The court had also clubbed the trial in the matter, which was going on in the Lucknow and Rae Bareilly courts, pending against the leaders and 'karsevaks' related to the incident.
Also Read: PHOTOS: The Day The Babri Masjid Fell
The court also instructed the CBI to make sure that all prosecution witnesses were present for the recording of evidence in the case.
ANI had reported that the judge had said no application for adjournment or exemption from personal appearance would be entertained.
The hearing is expected to be completed within two years, given the case was already pending for the past 25 years.
The special court had dropped charges against the accused Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti including Bal Thackeray and others in May, 2001. But were resumed after CBI challenged the court's decision before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court in November, 2004.
The Supreme Court had on April 19, 2017 restored conspiracy charges agains Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharti, and had ordered prosecution of the leaders and other accused in the politically sensitive case. It had also ordered day-to-day trial to be concluded in two years.
The CBI has been ordered to ensure that at least one prosecution witness appears in the trial court for recording of testimony.
To ensure a speedy trial, the top court had given two important directions - first, no party shall be granted adjournments without the sessions' judge being satisfied of the reasons for it; second, the trial judge hearing the case shall not be transferred till the judgement is delivered, ANI had reported.
(With agency inputs)
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