Tuesday, September 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

SC refuses to stay Babri trial
Issues notices to Advani, UP Govt
Our Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 1
The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh Government, the CBI, Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi and six other BJP and VHP leaders on two petitions challenging the “dropping” of conspiracy charges against them in the Babri Masjid demolition case. However, it refused to stay the trial proceedings in the case before the Rae Bareli court.

A Bench comprising Mr Justice S. Rajendra Babu, Mr Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Mr Justice Arun Kumar directed the UP Government, the CBI and the BJP and VHP leaders to submit their replies within three weeks to the writ petitions filed by two advocates and two other persons.

Besides Mr Advani and Mr Joshi, those who have got notices among the Sangh Parivar leaders are: Ms Uma Bharti, Mr Vinay Katiyar, Mr Ashok Singhal, Mr Giriraj Kishore, Mr Vishnu Hari Dalmiya and Sadhvi Ritambhra.

The two separate petitions filed by advocate Wajahat Ansari and another lawyer C.M. Shukla and two litigants in the Ayodhya dispute suit have sought quashing of the CBI supplementary charge sheet, alleging that the agency had dropped Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) relating to the criminal conspiracy against the accused persons in violation of the laid down procedure with a “mala fide” intention to benefit them.

As petitioners’ counsel Kapil Sibal and A.M. Singhvi pleaded for a stay of the trial stating that the special court at Rae Bareli had fixed September 3 for order on framing of charges against the accused persons, the Bench said, “Let the trial go on. We will not interfere in it.”

The court also declined to have further hearing on another petition challenging the order of a Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court quashing the UP Government’s notification for setting up a special court at Lucknow for hearing the Babri trial due to certain legal defects and allowing its transfer to Rae Bareli.

The court told advocate O. P. Sharma, counsel for petitioner Aslam Bhure, challenging the High Court order, that unless he deleted certain “objectionable” portions in his petition, it would not be heard.

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