The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred the hearing in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case by two weeks and asked all the parties concerned to file their written submissions, ANI reported. The bench was supposed to decide whether senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti should face conspiracy charges in the case.
The hearing was deferred to April 6 after Advani’s counsel KK Venugopal said he would not be able to argue the case on Thursday as he was busy with another one, The Times of India reported. The court was hearing appeals filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against the Allahabad High Court verdict that had exonerated the leaders.
On March 6, the court had asked the CBI to file a supplementary chargesheet against the accused, including the conspiracy charges. “We will not accept the discharge of Advani and others on technical grounds,” the court had said.
There are two cases in connection with the Babri mosque demolition – one in Lucknow and the other in Raebareli. The Raebareli court is hearing a case against leaders of the BJP and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, while the other case against the karsevaks is pending in the Lucknow trial court. The Supreme Court has suggested clubbing the two.
The hearing came three days after Supreme Court had suggested that the long-standing Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya should be resolved outside court. The bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar had said since it was a “sensitive” issue, the two parties concerned should sort out their dispute through negotiations.
On December 6, 1992, the mosque was demolished by lakhs of karsevaks, who had gathered at the site from across the country. The incident had triggered communal riots across the country.