In connection to the Babri Masjid demolition case, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, and Union Minister Uma Bharti are expected to appear before a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Lucknow on Tuesday.
The court had earlier directed them to appear before it in person on May 30 for the framing of charges against them. They were seeking exemption from appearance in the court but were allowed no such relaxation.
This is the first time that the leaders would appear before a court in this case after the Supreme Court restored the criminal conspiracy charges framed against them in April. The apex court had overruled the Allahabad High Court judgment that dropped the charges.
Along with the trio, BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Vishnu Hari Dalmia, Ram Vilas Vedanti, Sadhvi Ritambara, Mahant Nritya Gopaldas, Mahant Dharamdas, Champat Rai and Satish Pradhan are also scheduled to appear before the court.
Mr. Advani, Mr. Joshi and Ms. Bharti are accused of criminal conspiracy in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.
In April, the Supreme Court used its extraordinary constitutional powers under Article 142 to revive criminal charges against the BJP leaders. The court also transferred the Rae Bareli case in the demolition and clubbed it with the Lucknow case pending before a CBI Special Court.
As per the orders of the Supreme Court, the trial on a day-to-day basis is to be completed in two years.