After a 25-year-long wait, the Babri Masjid demolition case is finally witnessing some progress. The Supreme Court today ruled that senior BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti among others will face conspiracy charges in the case.
The maximum punishment that L K Advani and other Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders can face is five years in jail.
CASE NUMBER 198, 1992
The Supreme Court has ordered clubbing the two trials which are currently underway in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
Shortly after the 16th century Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992, two criminal cases were registered at Ram Janmabhoomi police station in Faizabad.
Lal Krishna Advani delivering speech in Ayodhya. File photo
The first case (No. 197,1992) was filed against lakhs of kar sevaks for demolition of the masjid. The FIR invoked various sections under which the maximum punishment for an offender could be 10 years in prison.
The second case (No. 198, 1992) was filed against BJP and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders, including Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Ashok Singhal, Sadhvi Ritambara, Giriraj Kishore, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Vinay Katiyar, for "inciting communal violence".
Kar sevaks atop the Babri Masjid. File photo
The leaders were on the dais of Ram Katha Kunj in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished amid chants of "mandir yahin banayenge (temple will be built here)".
If the charges against them are proved in the court, the BJP and VHP leaders can face a maximum punishment of five years in jail.
Kalyan Singh, who was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the Babri Masjid was demolished, enjoys constitutional immunity as he is currently the Governor of Haryana. His trial will begin once his term as Governor ends.
The violence that followed the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya had killed nearly 2,000 people.
The site after Babri Masjid was demolished. File photo.