Babri case: Additional charges against LK Advani

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Top BJP leaders including LK Advani and Union Minister Uma Bharti ordered by the top court to face trial for conspiracy charges in the 1992 Babri demolition case must be present in the trial court on May 30, a Lucknow court ordered on Thursday.

Veteran political leader LK Advani and Minister at the centre Uma Bharti had requested for relaxation from personal appearance, but the court refused to grant the same and asked them to personally appear before it.

The court today said they cannot be exempted and they must appear before the court on the given date.

The Supreme Court had asked the Lucknow-based special court to conduct a day-to-day hearing, framed fresh charges within a month, and wrap up the case within two years.

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Pradhan, a Shiv Sena leader, was present in the court today. CBI Special Counsel Ram Kumar Yadav said: "The court has fixed May 30 as the next date for framing of charges against the six accused".

After hearing the arguments, judge Yadav allowed the application for exemption keeping in view the interest of justice on the condition that they should be present before the court on the next date.

The conspiracy charge against Mr Advani and others was dropped by a special CBI Court in 2001, and upheld by the Allahabad High Court in 2010.

It had said additional charges will be framed under Section 120-B (conspiracy) and the other provisions of the penal code mentioned in the joint charge sheet filed by the CBI against the accused.

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The apex court also directed the trial court in Lucknow to commence the proceedings in four weeks and hear the matter on a day-to-day basis so as to complete the hearing in two years.

The apex court had transferred their case from Rae Bareli to Lucknow.

On April 19, the Supreme Court had ordered restoration of criminal charges against the top BJP leaders and others in the 1992 case.

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