The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Glare on Advani case

New Delhi, Dec. 22: The Prime Minister's Office has sought information on an Ayodhya case in which L.K. Advani was acquitted.

The PMO disclosed this tonight after the BJP claimed that a 'senior official has written to CBI asking the agency to reopen the case against Advani'.

The Opposition party also made public a letter purportedly written by an official in the PMO to the department of personnel and training, under which the CBI falls.

The PMO denied the charge that it had issued a directive to the CBI but added that 'it is only a letter from the PMO to secretary, personnel department, seeking information on these cases'. A CBI official said the bureau was not aware of any such letter.

A Rae Bareli court had discharged Advani in 2003 in the Babri Masjid demolition case but ordered framing of charges against several others.

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court is now hearing a similar case against Advani. The case could not be pursued earlier because of a mistake by the Uttar Pradesh government. If the high court orders retrial, the Rae Bareli verdict that acquitted Advani will become redundant.

The letter, attributed to a PMO joint secretary and released by the BJP tonight, refers to Advani's acquittal. It adds that the CBI director subsequently informed the government that the bureau had not filed a revision petition against the discharge as the time to do so had expired.

'In this regard, I have been asked to request that the ministry of law and justice may kindly be consented to examine if there is any legal provisions and grounds for CBI to file a revision against the discharge of Shri L.K. Advani at this stage...' says the letter addressed to the secretary (personnel).

The letter also seeks 'to request that the ministry of law and justice may kindly be consulted to examine if a decision on the revision petition can be expedited'.

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