A district court hearing the Babri mosque demolition case against former BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and six others on Friday ruled that the CBI was fully empowered to act as a prosecuting agency.
Special Judge Vanshraj Singh gave the ruling when the defence counsels objected to the CBI acting as a prosecuting agency besides an investigating agency.
As soon as the matter came up for hearing in the court, the defence counsels pleaded that the CBI was merely an investigating agency and was not empowered to launch prosecution. They also sought adjournment of the matter till the issue was decided.
The court, however, ruled that this issue had been settled by the Allahabad High Court, which said the CBI could also launch a prosecution.
The special judge said the trial against all the eight accused would, therefore, continue in the district court and fixed July 5 for further hearing of the matter.
Former BJP leader Uma Bharti, BJP General Secretary Vinay Katiyar, VHP leaders Ashok Singhal, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya and Sadhvi Ritambhara are the other accused in the matter.