BJP leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati, Vinay Katiyar, VHP’s Vishnu Hari Dalmia and Sadhvi Ritambara have appeared before a special CBI court in Lucknow today where they face the prospect of jail term as the court finalizes framing of charges in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
Special CBI judge S K Yadav had asked all the BJP leaders to present themselves before the court in person and said no application for adjournment or exemption from personal appearance shall be entertained.
The court is also hearing another related case involving Gopal Das, Mahant Ram Vilas Vedanti, Baikunth Lal Sharma, Champat Rai Bansal, Mahant Dharma Das and Satish Pradhan.
It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had on April 19 ordered prosecution of Advani and others accused for criminal conspiracy in the case and ordered day-to-day trial in two years. The apex court described the destruction of the medieval-era monument had shaken the “secular fabric of the Constitution”.
However, BJP leader Kalyan Singh, who was then UP Chief Minister and now the Rajasthan Governor, was given immunity entitled to under the Constitution as long as he holds the Governor’s office, said the court.