A bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman pronounced the judgement, ordering the separate trials being conducted in trial courts at Rae Bareli and Lucknow to be clubbed and conducted in the capital of Uttar Pradesh only, and directed it to be completed in two years.
Supreme Court Bench in its ruling said the case should be tried in a time-bound, day-to-day basis, without any adjournments or transfer of trial judge. Union Minister Uma Bharti is also among the accused who will be tried for criminal conspiracy. Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh has been exempted from trial due to constitutional immunity under Article 361. No case would be registered against him when he is the Governor; trial will begin once he steps down.
It also directed probe agency CBI to ensure that prosecution witnesses appear on each and every date for recording of evidence in the case and the trial court should start the proceedings within four weeks from this date.
A Special Court had in May 2001 dropped the criminal conspiracy charges against Mr. Advani and top BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders, including Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Murli Manohar Joshi, and Uma Bharti among others. The Allahabad HC had dismissed the CBI plea to revive the conspiracy charges in May 2010, following which the agency moved the Supreme Court in appeal in February 2011.
There were two sets of cases relating to the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992. The first involved unnamed ‘karsevaks’, the trial of which is taking place in a Lucknow court, while the second set of cases relate to the VVIPs in a Rae Bareli court.
On April 6, the bench had indicated that they may order holding of joint trial of the two sets of cases by transferring the trial from Rae Bareli to the Lucknow court. Senior Advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for Advani and Joshi, had vociferously opposed the proposal for holding joint trial and transferring their case from Rae Bareli to Lucknow.
The CBI had clarified that it was not making any submission on the issue of the trial of the VVIPs accused but restricting itself to restoration of the charge of conspiracy against them.The apex court had earlier decided to examine the appeal against dropping of conspiracy charge against Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti and 10 others.
CBI had charged Advani and 20 others under sections 153A (promoting enmity between classes), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505 (false statements, rumours etc circulated with the intent to cause mutiny or disturb public peace) of the IPC.