SC reviews conspiracy charges against Advani

Senior BJP leader LK Advani and several other top BJP leaders will be tried for criminal conspiracy in the demolition of the 16th-century Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, the Supreme Court said today.

Reports suggest that BJP leaders Murli Monahar Joshi, Uma Bharti and others will be tried under same charges as that of LK Advani. The trial is being held in Rae Bareli.

Accepting the CBI’s plea for restoration of criminal charges against these leaders and others, a bench of justice PC Ghose and justice RF Nariman ordered day-to-day hearing in the case, setting a two-year deadline for the trial to be completed. The case will be heard by a Lucknow court.

However, senior party leader Kalyan Singh, who was the UP chief minister then, is protected since he is a governor. But charges would be framed against him once he ceases to be governor, the court said.

The court revived the charges 16 years after they were dropped by a Lucknow court on technical grounds. The leaders are already being tried for making inflammatory speeches that provoked the kar sevaks to pull down the mosque.

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