Expedite trial of politicians, says SC

Babri case: Apex court irked over CBI counsels absence

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed displeasure over the CBI counsel’s absence during the hearing of a petition seeking inclusion of criminal conspiracy charges against BJP leaders like L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and other Sangh Pariwar leaders, in a case regarding the Babri Masjid demolition.

A bench of justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad directed the trial court in Rae Bareilly to complete the trial “as expeditiously as possible.”

The court said it was “reluctantly” granting the plea made by a counsel, seeking adjournment in the case, since the additional solicitor general was involved in some other case.  

“How many times should we have to adjourn this case? We can say that the law officer is taking the court casually,” the bench observed.
Before posting the matter for hearing after eight weeks, the bench allowed a plea to delete Bal Thackeray’s name from the list of  respondents, in view of his death.

The CBI had moved the apex court last year against the Allahabad High Court’s May 20, 2010 order dismissing its plea for revival of criminal conspiracy charges against Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Vinay Katiyar, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Sadhvi Rithambara and Mahant Avaidya Nath.

According to the investigating agency, the high court order had “resulted in serious miscarriage of justice and violated the principle of consolidated investigation and consolidated chargesheet.”

The high court had held that the CBI’s revision petition, challenging the May 4, 2001 order of the special court that directed dropping of criminal conspiracy charges against the accused, was without merit.

The special court had declined the CBI plea on the ground that it did not have the power to try the accused.

There are two cases - one against Advani and the others who were on a dais in Ayodhya in December 1992, when the Babri Masjid was demolished, and the other against unknown karsevaks who were in and around the disputed structure.
The first case is being heard in Rae Bareilly and the other in Lucknow.

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