BJP stalwarts L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharati will appear before a special CBI court here on Tuesday for framing of charges in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
Besides them, Special CBI judge S K Yadav had asked BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, VHP’s Vishnu Hari Dalmia and a one-time firebrand Hindutva preacher Sadhvi Ritambara to present themselves before the court in person.
While directing the accused to present themselves in person, the judge had said no application for adjournment or exemption from personal appearance shall be entertained.
The apex court had in April used its extraordinary constitutional powers under Article 142 to revive the criminal charges against the BJP leaders. The court also transferred the Rae Bareli case in the demolition and clubbed it with the Lucknow case pending before a CBI Special Court.
While the case in Rae Bareli accuses Mr. Advani, Mr. Joshi, Ms. Bharti and other BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders of giving provocative speeches, the case in Lucknow is against “lakhs of unknown kar sevaks” and deals with the actual act of demolition of the mosque, and violence.
The Supreme Court, however, exempted Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, who was the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister at the time of the incident, from facing trial as of now.
The trial, on a day-to-day basis, is to be completed in two years, the apex court ordered.
This is the first time that the leaders would appear before a court in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition case after the Supreme Court in April restored the criminal conspiracy charges framed against them, overruling the Allahabad High Court judgment that dropped the charges.