Friday, March 4, 2011

SC notice to Advani, Thackeray in Babri demolition case

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to senior BJP leader L K Advani, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and 19 others in the Babri Masjid demolition case. The CBI had challenged the Allahabad High Court's order to drop charges against senior BJP leader L K Advani, Bal Thackeray and others in the case.

The CBI had, on February 18, moved the Supreme Court challenging dropping of conspiracy changes against LK Advani and 20 others in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

But the agency's special leave petition comes nine months after the Allahabad High Court's Lucknow Bench upheld a trial court verdict dropping conspiracy charges against Advani, Bal Thackeray, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh and others.

The appeal should have been filed within 90 days of the High Court judgement. The High Court had delivered the judgement on May 20, 2010. CBI has moved an application requesting the court to condone the delay of six months in the filing the appeal against the High Court order.

The probe agency said that the trial court and the high court had erroneously dropped conspiracy charges. "It is submitted that bifurcation which has been attempted by the trial court which has found favour with the high court is completely erroneous in law. The offence of instigation, facilitation, actual demolition of the disputed structure, continuous assault on mediapersons, all form a single transaction," CBI said in its petition.

"It appears that 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 demolition). The order passed by the high court results in serious miscarriage of justice...," the agency said.

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