The Supreme Court today revived the conspiracy charge in Babri Masjid demolition case against senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, Union Minister Uma Bharti, among others.
Restoring the conspiracy charge, a bench of Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman also transferred their trial from Rae Bareli to Lucknow.
Pronouncing the judgment, Justice Nariman said that since Kalyan Singh being the Governor of Rajasthan enjoys constitutional immunity from being prosecuted, the trial court would proceed against him the day he ceases to be the Governor.
Following is the chronology of events in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case:
Dec, 1992: Two FIRs filed in the case. One against unknown karsevaks for demolition of the mosque. The other named BJP leaders Advani, M M Joshi and others for allegedly giving 'communal' speeches before demolition.
Oct, 1993: CBI files composite charge sheet accusing Advani and others of conspiracy.
May 4, 2001: Special CBI court drops proceedings against accused including Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti, Bal Thackeray and others.
Nov 2, 2004: CBI challenges before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court, the dropping of proceedings against BJP leaders on technical grounds. Court issues notices.
May 20, 2010: High court dismisses plea. Says no merit in CBI's revision petition.
Feb, 2011: CBI moves Supreme Court against high court order.
Mar 6, 2017: SC indicates it may consider reviving conspiracy charge against the BJP leaders in Babri Masjid demolition case.
Mar 21: SC suggests fresh attempts to resolve Ayodhya dispute.
Apr 6: SC favours time-bound completion of trial in the case and reserves order on CBI's plea.
Apr 19: SC restores criminal conspiracy charge against leaders including Advani, Joshi and union cabinet minister Uma Bharti in the case and clubs the trial in the matter pending against VIPs and karsevaks.