New Delhi, India: March 4, 2011 â€“ IR Summary/SC/HT – A bench comprising justice V S Sirpurkar and justice T S Thakur of the Supreme Court here on Friday issued notices to BJP leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray and others to spell out their stands on a CBI plea for restoration of charges of hatching a criminal conspiracy to demolish the Babri Masjid in 1992 against them, and allowed them a period of four weeks to file their replies.
The judge had also pointed out that the CBI at no point of time, either during the trial at Rai Bareli or in its revision petition, ever stated that there was offence of criminal conspiracy against the leaders, as was being submitted now.
The apex court issued the notices after Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the CBI, questioned the legality of the Allahabad high court’s order last May, upholding a special CBI judge’s decision to quash the charges of criminal conspiracy against the leaders.
The CBI has moved the apex court challenging the High Court’s May 20, 2010 order, dismissing the CBI plea for revival of criminal conspiracy charges against top BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders, which also included Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Vinay Katiyar, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Sadhvi Rithambara and Mahant Avaidya Nath.
The other leaders were former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh.
Challenging the high court order, the CBI has said in its petition that “it appears 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 (pertaining to the demolition on December 6, 1992).
“The order passed by the high court results in serious miscarriage of justice, violates the principle of consolidated investigation, consolidated charge sheet and also disables an effective trial,” the petition has said.
The May 2010 order of the high court had said there was no merit in the CBI’s revision petition challenging the May 4, 2001 order of the special court which directed dropping of criminal conspiracy charges against them. More