Babri Masjid demolition: Indian SC restores conspiracy charges against BJP leaders

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BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi today met party veteran L K Advani and is understood to have discussed the Supreme Court's verdict restoring the criminal conspiracy charge against them in the Babri mosque demolition case. "We have allowed the CBI appeal against the Allahabad High Court judgement with certain directions", a bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman said.

The court also ordered that no adjournment was be given under normal circumstances.

Hindu fundamentalists with pickaxes and crowbars razed the structure to the ground in December 1992. In the last 25 years, 195 witnesses have been examined and 800 more are yet to testify before the court.

The Supreme Court today restored conspiracy charges against BJP leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi, Uma Bharti and others.

Kalyan Singh, also an accused who was the Uttar Pradesh chief minister at the time of the demolition, has constitutional immunity since he is Rajasthan's governor.

The Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday came after a lower court dropped the charges brought against the four men by India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

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CBI, India's premier investigating agency, has been investigating the case since the demolition of mosque in Ayodhya town of India's northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in 1992.

Hindu hard-liners, including BJP members, say they want to build a new temple to Ram on the site.

The Babri Masjid was built in the town of Ayodha in the 16th century on the site where some Hindus believe Lord Rama, one of the most revered deities in Hinduism, was born.

Muslim cleric Maulana Sajid Rashidi on Wednesday said that the community has faith in the apex court with regard to the Babri Masjid demolition case.

During the hearing, the bench also said that supplementary charge sheet was filed against eight persons but not against the 13 who were discharged.

He was asked whether the ruling would mean resignation of Bharti, the Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, from the Union Cabinet and Kalyan Singh as Rajasthan Governor.

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