[(L) Union Minister Uma Bharti hugging senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi after demolition od Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. (R) LK Advani and other BJP ledaers in a meeting (File Photo)]
New Delhi: Senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi Thursday said they were ready to face conspiracy charges in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case while the Supreme Court of India reserved its order.
Simultaneously hearing a petition seeking restoration of conspiracy charges against L K Advani, M M Joshi, Uma Bharti and other BJP and VHP leaders in the Babri Masjid demolition case, the Supreme Court is also to decide whether the trial of the VVIP accused can be transferred from a court in Rae Bareli to Lucknow.
There were two sets of cases relating the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992. The first involved unnamed 'kar-sevaks' while the second set of cases relates to the VVIPs.
While the trial of unnamed 'kar-sevaks' is taking place in a Lucknow court, the second case which relates to the VVIPs is in a Rae Bareli court.
A bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman indicated that they may order holding of joint timebound trial on day-to-day basis of the two sets of cases by transferring the trial from Rae Bareli to the Lucknow court.
Senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for Advani and Joshi opposed the joint trial and transfer of the case from Rae Bareli to Lucknow while senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for one of the intervenors, supported the SC proposal, according to PTI.
The Supreme Court had on March 6 indicated that LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and other BJP and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders may face trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case. The 17th century mosque was demolished on December 06, 1992.
"We will not accept the discharge on technical grounds and we will allow supplementary charge sheet," the bench said.
The Allahabad High Court had earlier dropped the conspiracy charges against LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Kalyan Singh and other BJP and VHP leaders. But now the Supreme Court was hearing a petition by the CBI challenging Allahabad High Court’s order of acquittal and a petition by Mehboob Ahmad.
Kalyan Singh, who is now the governor of Rajasthan, was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh when the 17th century Babri Masjid was razed down by kar-sevaks of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena and other right wing Hindu extremists who believed it to be the birth place of Lord Ram.
This demolition is one of the biggest events in post-Independence India which has every now and then given rise to communal tensions across the country claiming hundreds of lives. RRS and affiliated organisations have been pushing for the construction of Ram Temple at the site of the mosque.