The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday dismissed an application contesting the CBI's authority to act as prosecuting agency in the Ayodhya demolition case, in which senior BJP leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and others are the accused.
"The preliminary objections being raised at this stage are devoid of merits and are fit to be dismissed," it said, disposing the application of an accused Moreshwar Save who challenged the CBI's revision petition, and posted the hearing of the case for September 11.
Justice Shailendra Saxena of the Lucknow Bench of the court, who had reserved his order on Monday, said since the objection being raised had already been decided and become final, it could not be looked into.
He said the prosecutor appointed by CBI had 'every right to prosecute', and rejected Save's argument that the CBI had no locus standi to file any revision as it was merely the investigating agency.
Save had pleaded that the prosecution could be conducted only by a public prosecutor. "Neither the Central government nor the CBI has any role to play in this matter".
The agency had filed a revision petition in the High Court challenging the Rae Bareli Special CBI Court order that dropped proceedings against Advani, Joshi, Thackeray, Bharatiya Janshakti Party leader Uma Bharti and BJP Vice-President Kalyan Singh besides Save.