Tuesday, February 13, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Order on Ayodhya case quashed 
Notification improper, says Allahabad HC 

LUCKNOW, Feb 12 — Terming “improper” the notification entrusting the trial of eight persons, including Union Ministers L.K. Advani, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, in the Ayodhya case to the CBI special court, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court today left it to the Uttar Pradesh government to cure the anomalies in it.

Mr Justice Jagdish Bhalla in a jam-packed court room, said the notification of October, 1993 was “curable”. The court has now left it to the state government to “cure” the anomalies in the notification and proceed further.

The eight persons against whom the trial was transferred to the CBI special court were Union Home Minister L.K. Advani, Union Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi, Union Sports Minister Uma Bharti, then Vishwa Hindu Parishad president Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, VHP working president Ashok Singhal and VHP vice-president Giri Raj Kishore, BJP MP Vinay Katiyar and Sadhvi Ritambara.

The accused against whom the high court upheld charges today include Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray, former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, former Shiv Sena MP Moreshwar Save, former Bajrang Dal chief and MP Jai Bhan Singh Pavaiyya, Mahant Avaidya Nath, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Acharya Dharmendra Dev, the then District Magistrate of Faizabad R.N. Srivastava and then district police chief D.B. Rai.

Of the remaining accused, Ms Vijaya Raje Scindia is no more while Laxmi Das Mahatyagi had got a stay on quo warranto writ petition.

The judgement on four revision petitions by 33 accused has been pending in the Allahabad High Court for three years now. The last hearing took place in November, 2000 when the court had reserved the judgement.

A total of 49 first information reports (FIRs) were filed in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition case, of which 47 were filed by mediapersons who were beaten up and relieved of cameras and other belongings.

One unnamed FIR (197/92) was filed by Priyamvada Nath Shukla, the then station house officer of Ram Janma Bhoomi police station in Faizabad district, while another FIR (198/92) was filed by Ganga Prasad Tiwari, naming eight persons including Mr Advani.

Investigation on these two FIRs was entrusted to the special CBI court vide separate notifications. While the first was found to be in order, the high court found the other notification “improper”.

NEW DELHI: The BJP today welcomed the verdict of the Allahabad High Court quashing the notification for trial of eight accused, including Union Ministers L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, and the framing of charges against them in the Babri Masjid demolition trial.

“We welcome the verdict of the court and their acquittal shows that the names of the eight persons were added as an afterthought, making it clear that their government and officials deliberately sought to get them convicted” a senior BJP leader, Mr Jagdish Prasad Mathur said here giving party’s reaction.

While upholding the charges against remaining 41 accused in the case, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has held that the Uttar Pradesh Government notification of October, 1993, was “improper”.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Mathur said the court verdict had proved that addition of names in the chargesheet by the then state government and officials was “prejudiced, an afterthought, and malafide”. — TNS and agencies

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