SC to hold final hearing in Babri demolition conspiracy case

SC to hold final hearing in Babri demolition conspiracy case

The Supreme Court Tuesday will take up on April 1 for final hearing the CBI's appeal challenging 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict discharging of L.K. Advani and 19 other senior leaders of BJP and Hindu outfits the charges of criminal conspiracy in the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.

A bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra will hear the Central Bureau of Investigation's appeal which was last listed before the apex court February 5 when it was directed to be listed for final hearing on "1st April, 2014 before an appropriate bench".

Though the matter is pending before the apex court since March 3, 2011, but it for the first time it is coming up for hearing after formation of the Narendra Modi government triggering speculation whether there would be any shift in the stand of the government from the one taken by the UPA government.

The notice on the CBI plea was issued March 3, 2011 and the matter has been listed before the court 23 times.

The CBI which had moved the apex court February 18, 2011, nearly nine months after the Allahabad High Court verdict May 20, 2010, has yet to persuade the court on the justification for delay in challenging the high court order.

The CBI in its appeal before the apex court has said that the verdict discharging Advani and others of the offence of criminal conspiracy "is inconsistent with the previous judgment rendered by the Allahabad High Court on February 12, 2001".

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High court by its February 12, 2001 order had held that the trial court committed no illegality in taking "cognizance of joint consolidated charge sheet and all the offences were committed in the course of the same transaction to accomplish the conspiracy".

The high court by its said order had noted that the "evidence for all the offences was almost the same".

Besides Advani, other accused include senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders M.M.Joshi, Vinay Katiyar, Uma Bharti and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Hari Dalmiya, Sadhvi Ritambrara, and Mahant Avaidyanath.

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