Friday, March 30, 2001, Chandigarh, India




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Ayodhya: CBI opposes Advani, Umaís discharge

Lucknow, March 29
The CBI today maintained that all 47 accused, including three Union Ministers, Murli Manohar Joshi, L.K. Advani and Uma Bharati, could be proceeded against on the basis of the consolidated charge sheet filed in the Ayodhya demolition case.

The names of all accused figured in the investigation carried out by the CBI on the basis of one of the two FIRs, which was unaffected by the recent judgement of the Allahabad High Court, CBI counsel P.K. Choubey told the special court today, concluding arguments used to drop trial against them.

The CBI counsel also referred to the statements made by some of the witnesses for the prosecution to prove that the accused, including the Union Ministers, had been part of a conspiracy leading to the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.

The names of these persons also figured in the investigation carried out by the CBI on the basis of another FIR registered at the Ram Janmabhoomi police station after the demolition of the disputed structure, Choubey submitted, adding this case remained unaffected by the high court judgement.

Special Judge (CBI) Srikant Shukla posted the case for April 12 next after the defence counsels sought time to prepare their reply in rebuttal and also because one of the senior defence counsel Mridul Rakesh was out of station.

The court, however, said in its order that no further adjournments would be granted to the defence on the plea of their lawyers being busy.

The court also ordered that the case would be heard on a day-to-day basis from April 12.

The CBI counsel, opposing the adjournment, urged the court to expedite the matter as frequent adjournments were likely to prove detrimental to the prosecutionís case. PTI
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