The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on a review petition challenging its earlier order, upholding the notification issued by the UP government separating the trial of BJP leaders and diluting charges against them in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
A bench comprising Justices KG Balakrishnan, GP Mathur and RV Raveendran reserved the judgement after hearing arguments on the petition filed by Aslam Bhure.
The counsel for the petitioner, submitted before the court that the notification transferring the trial against former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, former BJP chief Murli Manohar Joshi, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti, UP BJP chief Vinay Katiyar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders Vishnu Hari Dalmia, Ashok Singhal, Acharya Giriraj Kishore and Sadhvi Rithambra from Lucknow to the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) at Rae Bareli was 'illegal'.
He also submitted that there was no need to issue a fresh notification as the trial should have been held in the court at Lucknow only.
Earlier, the charges were framed by the Sessions Court against over a 100 accused but later on, the trial of the top eight leaders was separated and the charges against them diluted, and they were to be tried by a magistrate.
Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, appearing on behalf of the CBI, told the court that the original review petition challenging the discharge order, passed in favour of Advani and others, was already pending in the Allahabad High Court. He admitted that the centre had not filed an appeal against it. The future of the trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case shall depend on the outcome of the review petition in the High Court.
The apex court had earlier questioned the locus standi of the petitioner, 'who was neither an accused nor an affected party in the case'.