The senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi, L K Advani, and Uma Bharti will appear before a special CBI court for framing of charges in the alleged role in Babri Masjid demolition case on Tuesday. The special CBI judge S K Yadav had also asked BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, VHP’s Vishnu Hari Dalmia and firebrand Hindutva preacher Sadhvi Ritambara to present themselves before the court personally as well.
Before the court appearance, Uma Bharti said today, “It was an open protest, as it was during the time of emergency. What conspiracy was there in it I don’t know? It is the matter of God and in such a case I can only have expectations from him. Since I have taken part in it with devotion, I don’t consider myself as a criminal.” While directing the accused to present them physically, the judge had also said no application for adjournment from personal appearance shall be heard. The court is hearing two different cases linking to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in which Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahant Ram Vilas Vedanti, Baikunth Lal Sharma alias Prem Ji, Champat Rai Bansal, Mahant Dharma Das and Satish Pradhan also be charged with frame against them in the second matter.
On April 19, the Supreme Court had ordered the prosecution of BJP stalwarts Advani (89), Joshi (83) and Bharti (58), and some other accused in the criminal conspiracy in the politically sensitive case. The top court had asked to conduct a day-to-day hearing, frame fresh charges within a month, and conclude the case in two years. The apex court had called the destruction of the Babri Masjid a “crime” that affected the “secular fabric of the constitution” and gave permission to the CBI’s plea of looking for reinstatement of criminal conspiracy against the four BJP leaders.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court said that the BJP leader Kalyan Singh, who is the Rajasthan governor and who was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the disputed structure was demolished, has the immunity under the Constitution as long as he holds the administrative office. The case had been transferred against Murli Manohar Joshi, L K Advani, Uma Bharti and three other accused from a Raebareli court to Lucknow for a joint trial in the controversial destruction case. The top court had also criticized CBI for the delay of 25 years in the trial.