Friday, 23 February, 2018

Babri demolition: Uma refuses to resign, says conspiracy charges not proven

Melinda Barton | 20 April, 2017, 05:58

The court has ordered that the trial, to be held in Lucknow, be completed in two years.

Reacting to the Supreme Court's order to restore trial of Advani, Joshi and others on charges of criminal conspiracy, Togadia demanded that the government contest the CBI's plea before a larger bench to deliver justice in the case.

Kalyan Singh, who was Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh when the mosque was demolished, is now the Governor of Rajasthan and can not be prosecuted while in office.

Both Advani and Joshi had opposed top court taking recourse to Article 142 for transferring the trial to Lucknow and the revival of the conspiracy charge.

Mr Advani along with party colleagues, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti charged with making inflammatory speeches that motivated Kar sevak volunteers or to pull down the historic mosque in 1992.

On 6 March, the apex court had made a decision to examine the appeal against dropping of conspiracy charge against the accused including Advani, Joshi and Bharti.

The court also ruled that a fourth senior BJP politician, Kalyan Singh, who was leader of Uttar Pradesh at the time of the incident, should face criminal conspiracy charges.

Separately, about 20 people are being tried in a court in Lucknow for the actual demolition of the mosque.

Several of the original accused, including Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, have died during the trial.

Hindu groups say the 16th century Babri Mosque was built after a temple dedicated to the Hindu god King Ram was destroyed by Muslim invaders.

Of the four party leaders who will now stand trial, Singh is currently the governor of an Indian province, and the constitution protects him from criminal trial.

There were two sets of cases relating to the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992.

"There have been ministers, there have been deputy prime ministers". Some BJP leaders including Bharti want a temple of Ram to be built on the ruins of the razed mosque - an idea that horrifies Uttar Pradesh's significant Muslim minority.

Senior lawyer and convener of the Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC), Jafarayeb Jilani said, "We are happy with the SC order and we had waited long for such directives".