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Advani trial moves to Rae Bareli

Lucknow, March 5: In another development relating to the Babri Masjid demolition case, the special CBI court in Lucknow today directed the agency to transfer all records pertaining to case No.198 to the Rae Bareli special court.

The case involves deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, human resources development minister Murli Manohar Joshi, former Union minister Uma Bharti and five other senior BJP and VHP leaders.

The CBI had moved the Lucknow special court to shift the case to Rae Bareli after the Supreme Court endorsed the Mayavati governmentís refusal to issue a notification enabling the Lucknow court to continue with the trial of the case. The apex court had held that the CBI could move the special court set up in Rae Bareli to continue with the trial.

The trial against Advani and the rest was held up since a single-judge bench of Allahabad High Court declared the notification enabling the Lucknow special court, which was hearing the other Ayodhya cases, to try the case against the BJP and the VHP leaders void in 2001. Following the high courtís verdict, the special court in Lucknow discharged Advani and 20 others from the trial.

The order was challenged by Mohammad Aslam alias Bhure in the Supreme Court, which held in November that the CBI should initiate trial against them in the Rae Bareli special court.

Significantly, the apex court has admitted a petition for a review of its November order. It is to come up for hearing tomorrow.

In his petition, Bhure contended that while passing its November order the apex court had not taken note of the fact that Advaniís trial in the Lucknow special court had already reached an advanced stage.

Trial in the Rae Bareli court would mean starting the case afresh and, thus, delaying justice, the petition said.

Bhure pointed out that Allahabad High Courtís judgment quashing the notification had itself noted that the defect was ďcurableĒ if the Uttar Pradesh government issued a fresh notification.

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