SC refuses Advani's plea in Babri case

SC refuses Advani's plea in Babri case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused a plea by senior BJP leader L K Advani to adjourn for four weeks the hearing on a CBI petition challenging a trial court’s decision to drop criminal conspiracy charges against him and several other leaders in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

The court also hinted that the same bench of Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman would consider the appeal in the 1992 case on Thursday.

Justice Nariman, in particular, had earlier observed that the order discharging Advani and others was prima facie not correct.

On Wednesday, Justice Ghose, who was sitting with Justice Deepak Gupta, said the matter was part-heard and would be considered on Thursday when Justice Nariman would join him on the bench.

Advocate M R Shamshad, appearing for Haji Mahboob Ahmed, a petitioner in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suits, sought an adjournment for a week to file documents related to status of the cases before trial courts in Lucknow and Raebareli. At that point, senior advocate K K Venugopal, representing Advani, sought adjournment for four weeks due to personal difficulties.

“That would take us to May. Are you seeking a date in May? So should it be taken up after the summer vacation,” Justice Ghose, who is retiring on May 27, asked Venugopal.

However, the court fixed the matter for consideration on Thursday after the counsel agreed.
Questioning the CBI's conduct, a bench of Justices Ghose and Nariman had on March 6 said the order discharging the 13 accused on technical grounds was “prima facie” not correct. It also said that the investigating agency could have filed a supplementary charge sheet against them.

“There is something is peculiar about this case,” the bench had said.

The court then sought to know from the Central Bureau of Investigation why there couldn’t be a joint trial in the two cases registered in connection with the demolition, one each in Lucknow and Raebareli.
DH News Service

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