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Babri Masjid demolition case: LK Advani, Uma Bharti, MM Joshi exempted from personal appearance in CBI court

6A special CBI court on Wednesday granted senior BJP leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti, facing trial on conspiracy charges in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition case, exemption from personal appearance.
Lucknow: A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Wednesday granted senior BJP leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti, facing trial on conspiracy charges in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition case, exemption from personal appearance.
The special CBI court had last week framed criminal conspiracy charges against them for their alleged role in instigating a mob to demolish the Babri Masjid mosque in Ayodhya in 1992.
The fast-track court is hearing two separate cases relating to the demolition of the disputed structure which stood at a place believed to the birthplace of Hindu god Ram, and where a temple once stood.
Building a Ram temple at Ayodhya is one of the core ideological issues of the BJP as well as its parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
The three others against whom conspiracy charges were framed included BJP’s Vinay Katiyar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)’s Vishnu Hari Dalmia, and religious preacher, Sadhvi Rithambara.
Advani along with Uma Bharti were among the leaders who were personally present in court for the hearing.
The direction of the CBI court holds significance since Uma Bharti is a sitting minister in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) while both Advani and Joshi are senior leaders of the BJP.
Defending the BJP leaders, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, 6“Our leaders are innocent. They will come out unscathed.”
The Lucknow court, while rejecting the discharge petition brought by the accused, directed that the trial be conducted on a day-to-day basis and wrapped up within two years.
This is consistent with the order passed by the Supreme Court in April. The accused, however, will not be required to attend daily hearings.
The court added that there was enough evidence on record against Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti and others for invoking the charge of criminal conspiracy against them.
The accused in the two cases have been charged with criminal conspiracy under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1960.
The three senior BJP leaders and others were however, granted bail on furnishing of personal bonds of Rs20,000 each.
The leaders were named in an FIR filed after the demolition of Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992.
The Congress party had demanded that union minister Uma Bharti resign from the cabinet since a chargesheet has been filed against her.

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