The Supreme Court has revived the criminal conspiracy charge against BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and nine others in the Babri mosque demolition case.
The court, which had in the last hearing expressed unhappiness over the tardy progress in a related case, issued a string of instructions Wednesday to ensure the trial is completed in two years.
Here is what the court said:
1 The court allowed the CBI plea for reviving criminal conspiracy charge against the senior BJP leaders. The investigating agency had challenged an Allahabad high court verdict upholding an order of a Lucknow court that dropped the charges on technical ground.
2 The case will be shifted from Rae Bareli to Lucknow and the trial will open in four weeks. A Rae Bareli court is hearing a case against these leaders and others for making inflammatory speeches that provoked the kar sevaks to pull down the mosque.
3 This case and the one being heard by a Lucknow court will now be clubbed and hearings held in the Uttar Pradesh capital. There will be no fresh trial.
4 There were two sets of cases. The first involved unnamed kar sevaks, which was being tried in a Lucknow court, while the second was the one in Rae Bareli.
5 There shall be no adjournments in the case and the trial judge in Lucknow will hold day-to-day hearing, a bench of justice PC Ghose and justice RF Nariman has said, setting a two-year deadline for the trial to be completed.
6 The judge hearing the case will not be moved out till the trial is completed.
7 The Central Bureau of Investigation will have to ensure the presence of at least one prosecution witness on every hearing.
8 The case shall not be adjourned for want of witnesses, the court has said.
9 Any party can approach the SC if its directions on the trail are not followed.
10 Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh has been spared, for now. Singh enjoys constitutional immunity since he is a governor but charges will be framed against him once he ceases to hold the position, the court has said. Singh was the Uttar Pradesh chief minister when the Babri mosque was brought down on December 6, 1992 by a mob of kar sevaks.