New Delhi/Mumbai: Welcoming the Supreme Court’s decision of allowing the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) appeal challenging the withdrawal of conspiracy charges against senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders including L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, the Congress Party on Wednesday demanded action against them.
Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said those ministers holding constitutional positions must offer their resignations.
“I salute the Supreme Court. Although the decision came late, it was expected. The BJP tried a lot so that justice is not delivered. It is said that justice delayed is justice denied. All the tactics of the BJP has failed,” he added.
Resonating similar sentiments, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik said Union Water Resources and River Development Minister Uma Bharti is also a conspirator in the matter and so it becomes the responsibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately sack her from the position.
“It also becomes the responsibility of Kalyan Singh to resign from his post,” he added.
The apex court has ruled that senior BJP leaders including Advani, Bharti and Joshi will face criminal conspiracy charges in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
The apex court has directed the sessions judge in Lucknow to conduct the trial in the Babri demolition case on a daily basis, and that the judge will not be transferred. It also ruled out a fresh trial in the case.
The top court has also ordered the CBI to ensure that witnesses are produced in court everyday so that there is no delay in the Babri demolition case trial. The trial will have to be completed in two years.
However, the apex court has clarified that Kalyan Singh, being Governor of Rajasthan, will not be tried due to constitutional immunity unless he ceases to be in that post. In effect, his trial will begin after his term as Governor ends.
Singh was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the demolition took place.
Others who will face criminal conspiracy charges are Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambara, Satish Pradhan, Champat Rai Bansal. The late Giriraj Kishore is also among the names in the original chargesheet.
There were two sets of cases relating to the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992.
The first involved unnamed ‘karsevaks’ or volunteers, the trial of which is taking place in a Lucknow court, while the second set of cases relate to the VVIPs in a Raebareli court.
With today’s order, both these cases are merged and will be heard in Lucknow.
The order comes after the CBI had petitioned the apex court saying 14 people, including BJP leaders, who had been acquitted of the charges under criminal conspiracy, should be tried in the Lucknow Court.