Muslims offer prayers at a mosque in Ayodhya on Thursday. (AP)
New Delhi, Dec. 6: The Supreme Court today rapped the CBI for its “casual” approach to the case relating to the conspiracy charges against L.K. Advani and other Sangh parivar leaders in the Babri Masjid demolition, which marked its 20th anniversary today.
The court also directed a Rae Bareli court to speed up the trial against Advani and others in a separate case relating to the demolition.
The apex court was hearing a CBI appeal against the Allahabad High Court’s May 2010 decision upholding a Lucknow court’s May 2001 order dropping the charges against Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and the 19 others accused.
The bench of Justices H.L. Dattu and C.K. Prasad slammed the CBI counsel for his failure to appear for some past hearings, after the lawyer today sought adjournment on the ground that additional solicitor-general A.S. Chandiok was busy in another court.
“You are taking the matter very casually,” the bench told the counsel and posted the next hearing after six weeks.
Advani and the 20 others face charges in two cases arising out of two FIRs relating to the December 6, 1992, demolition.
The first case, No. 197, relates to an FIR that cites “lakhs of unknown kar sevaks” as the accused for the offence of demolition. This case is being heard in the Rae Bareli court.
Case No. 198 relates to a second FIR that specifically charged Advani and 20 others with making inflammatory speeches leading to the demolition. This case was being heard in a Lucknow court, which in May 2001 said it lacked the jurisdiction to try the case and directed the charges be dropped.
After the high court upheld this decision, the CBI appealed in the apex court nearly nine months later, pleading the delay be condoned.
The court today allowed the CBI to delete the name of Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, who passed away recently, from the list of the accused.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena today shouted slogans in the Lok Sabha, reaffirming their resolve to build a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
Screaming “Mandir wahin banayenge (we shall build the temple right there)” and “Jai Shri Ram”, they trooped to the well of the House, while Left and Samajwadi members shouted back, accusing them of demolishing the Babri Masjid. Just yesterday, the Left and the BJP had voted together against the Centre’s move on retail FDI.
Earlier, Bahujan Samaj Party member Shafiqur Rahman Barq had stood on his seat and waved a black flag in protest at the Babri demolition. “Don’t insult Parliament,” Speaker Meira Kumar told Barq.
The ruckus was witnessed by the chairman of Pakistan’s Senate, Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, who watched the proceedings from the guest box along with some other MPs from his country.