The Supreme Court is likely to hear, in October, the CBI plea challenging the Allahabad high court verdict of May 20, 2010, discharging BJP leader LK Advani and 19 others of the charges of criminal conspiracy in the demolition of the Babri Masjid December 6, 1992.
A bench of justice GS Singhvi and justice V Gopala Gowda indicated that the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) plea would be taken up for hearing in the first week of October after senior counsel PP Rao, appearing for the agency, sought the hearing of the matter.
However, the court asked Rao to approach Chief Justice P Sathasivam for the dates when matter would be taken up.
The CBI, which had moved the apex court Feb 18, 2011, nearly nine months after the Allahabad high court verdict, has yet to persuade the court on the justification for delay in challenging the high court order.
The CBI in its appeal before the apex court has said that the high court verdict discharging Advani and others of the offence of criminal conspiracy “is inconsistent with the previous judgment rendered by the Allahabad High Court on Feb 12, 2001”.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court by its Feb 12, 2001, order had held that the trial court committed no illegality in taking “cognizance of joint consolidated charge sheet” and “all the offences were committed in the course of the same transaction to accomplish the conspiracy”.
The high court by its said order had noted that the “evidence for all the offences was almost the same”.
Besides Advani, the accused include senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders MM Joshi, Vinay Katiyar and then Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Hari Dalmiya, Uma Bharti, Sadhvi Ritambrara, and Mahant Avaidyanath.