Friday, September 19, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


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Verdict today on framing charges against Advani

Rae Bareli, September 18
In a verdict that may have political implications, the Special Court hearing Ayodhya demolition cases against Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, Union Minister M.M. Joshi and six others will pronounce its order on the framing of charges against the accused tomorrow.

Special Judge V.K. Singh, had on September 12, heard the objections of the defence counsels on the written argument filed by the CBI.

Mr Advani, Mr Joshi, Ms Uma Bharti, state BJP President Vinay Katiyar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders Ashok Singhal, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya and Sadhvi Ritambhara were facing trial in the court for their alleged role in the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.

The case was transferred to the Special Court here after the Special CBI Court at Lucknow dropped proceedings against the accused persons following Allahabad High Courtís order quashing the state government notification constituting the Special CBI Court for trying the case.

The high court had said that the notification was legally defective, but the state government, if it so desired, could issue a fresh notification rectifying the defect.

The Mayawati government, on being directed by the Supreme Court to state its stand in the matter, had said that the trial of the case could go on in the Special Court here.

Significantly Section 120-B, IPC, (conspiracy) was not included by the CBI in the chargesheet filed by the CBI in the court here though the same was there in the composite chargesheet filed by the agency in the Special CBI Court at Lucknow.

After hearing arguments from both the sides, the Special Court had directed the CBI on August 19 to file a rejoinder on defence objections by August 27.

The Special Judge had then said it would pronounce the verdict on September 3 but deferred it to September 12. The suspense continued as on September 12 the court allowed the defence to file its objections on the CBIís written arguments.

The court had also screened four video and three audio tapes pertaining to the incidents that took place on December 6, 1992, when the disputed structure at Ayodhya was demolished. ó PTI


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