The CBI Friday challenged in the Supreme Court the Allahabad High
Court verdict discharging Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K.
Advani and 20 others from a criminal conspiracy case linked to the
Dec 6, 1992 Babri Masjid demolition in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya
Advani and 20 others were discharged by the high court May 20,
2010 in a case in which they were accused of conspiracy to
demolish the 16th century Babri Masjid by radical Hindu activists,
triggering widespread communal violence.
The move by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) assumes
significance as it comes on the eve of the budget session of
parliament and the government, clouded by various scams, appears
to be on the back foot in the wake of the opposition parties'
The ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is also involved in
other legal tangles in the apex court for its inaction in major
scams including the 2008 second generation (2G) spectrum
allocation to telecom companies involving former communications
minister A. Raja.
Besides Advani, other accused include senior BJP leaders M.M.
Joshi and Vinay Katiyar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders Ashok
Singhal and Giriraj Kishore, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister
Kalyan Singh and Shiv Sena leader Balasaheb Thackrey, besides
Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Uma Bharti, Sadhvi Rithambra and Mahant
When the mosque was demolished Uttar Pradesh had a BJP government
headed by Kalyan Singh.
The mosque was demolished despite an assurance to the Supreme
Court by the Kalyan Singh government that it would be protected.
The CBI appeal said that the reasons recorded by the trial court
for discharging Advani and others were fallacious.
"Both the trial court and the high court have analysed the
evidence and decided that there were two categories of accused
persons and logically 21 persons (Advani and others) belonged to
the category of instigators and distinct from those who actually
executed the act of demolition," the appeal said.
The appeal said that "an artificial distinction was made by the
trial court attempting to assign a role in respect of each of the
accused persons and to see which offences were made out".
"The trial court erroneously came to the conclusion that 21
persons were not entitled to be tried" in the case for the actual
act of demolition but should be tried in the case related to
It is submitted that this "distinction has been made on the ground
that in respect of persons against whom only offences of
instigation and other allied offences are made out that they
should be relegated to (instigation) case No. 198/1992, however,
in respect of persons who were indulging in actual demolition they
should be tried out in (demolition) case No. 197/92 along with the
offences relating to snatching of cameras and assault of media
persons," the appeal noted.
It said that this "classification is entirely unjustified and is
untainable" and contended that all the "offences (instigation and
actual act of demolition), form part of the same transaction".
The CBI intially filed a composite charge sheet against 49 people
and asked the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that their trial
was conducted in one special court.
However, the special court separated the case related to 21 BJP
and VHP leaders and directed their trial in Rae Bareilly whereas
for the remaining 28 accused the trial was directed to be held in
The CBI appeal said that the high court verdict discharging Advani
and others of the offence of criminal conspiracy "is inconsistent
with the previous judgment rendered by the Allahabad High Court on
Feb 12, 2001".
The political leaders were slapped with charges for committing
offences including wantonly giving provocation with intent to
cause riot, imputations prejudicial to national integration and
statements conducing to public mischief.
The radical Hindu activists who were accused of carrying out the
actual act of demolition were charged under sections relating to
robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause grievous hurt, causing
hurt to deter public servant from his duty, endangering life or
personal safety of others, injuring or defiling place of worship
with intent to insult the religion of any class and promoting
enmity between different groups.
The CBI in its appeal said that it was not necessary for it to
have added criminal conspiracy charges in the case as these 21
people were "legitimately a part of the larger conspiracy which
was the subject matter of the allegations and the investigations".