New Delhi: In a move that could have far reaching implications, Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar in a bid to resolve the Babri Masjid demolition case has ordered that petitions and annexing documents being filed in the case should be without bulky paper-books and SC would now electronically collect all trial court and High court records.
Today a bench of CJI Khehar and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was going to hear the case about reviving the conspiracy charges against BJP leaders, Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti in connection with the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case. SC adjourned the hearing in Babri Masjid demolition criminal case to April 6, 2017 and directed that parties should file written submissions in the matter.
CJI J S Khehar stated that in the next six to seven months “there will be no more filing of bulky paper-books as petitions and annexing documents with it”. This move can significantly expedite the chances of an early verdict as there were supporting documents which ran into thousands of pages and dated back to 16th century in order to determine the ownership of the land.
CJI further said that now SC will “electronically collect trial court and HC records and there will be no need of case records being filed afresh in SC”. CJI also said that from now on whoever wishes to file petition in SC “will only have to briefly put in writing the grounds on which they are challenging a HC order”.
This case has its genesis in two sets of cases, one was against the BJP leader Advani and others who were present at the stage at Ram Katha Kunj in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, when the mosque was demolished and the other was against the volunteers (Kar Sevaks) who were present during the demolition. CBI had earlier accused Advani and 20 other people under sections of Indian Penal Code charging them of promoting enemity between classes, circulating false rumours to intention of causing public peace. Later it had leveled charges of criminal conspiracy which was dismissed by a special court later upheld by the Allahabad HC.
But SC on March 6, while hearing CBI’s plea, questioned as to why conspiracy charges cannot be restored against BJP and RSS leaders, it had also hinted that it would club the two separate hearings going on in Rae Bareli and Lucknow courts.