CBI challenges Lucknow Bench’s verdict on Advani & Co.

New Delhi: CBI has challenged the verdict of Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow Bench of 20 May 2010 in which it upheld the earlier verdict of a special court of withdrawing criminal conspiracy charges against 21 BJP and RSS leaders in Babri Masjid demolition case and giving them a clean chit. These leaders included L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Ashok Singhal and others. It may be noted that a special court of Lucknow in its verdict of 4 May 2001 had given a clean chit to these leaders by ruling that the criminal case against these leaders should be withdrawn.

CBI had challenged this verdict of Lucknow special court in Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court but this Bench, consisting of a single judge Alok Kumar had upheld the earlier verdict of 4 May 2001 and dismissed CBI’s appeal in its verdict on 20 May 2010. After about nine months, CBI suddenly awoke from its slumber and filed an appeal in Supreme Court against single judge, Justice Alok Kumar’s verdict of giving a clean chit to these leaders and withdrawing the criminal conspiracy charge against them.

As a matter of fact, CBI should have filed its appeal in the Supreme Court within three months of Justice Alok Kumar’s verdict of 20 May i.e. by 19 August 2010 but it did not do so within the prescribed three months. In its fresh appeal of18 February to Supreme Court, with which it had also sent an apology letter for not filing this appeal within three months as per rule, it had stated that Justice Alok Kumar of High Court had erred and had not taken into account certain factors, one of which was that the special court which in its verdict of 4 May 2001 had given a clean chit to the 21 leaders of BJP, RSS etc was not competent to take up this case because it was not constituted with the permission and consultation of High Court, as required by law and hence its verdict is not valid. Therefore, the verdict of High Court also, which upheld the special court’s verdict, is not tenable. It therefore pleaded in its appeal that the criminal charges against these people may be restored.

It is not known whether this appeal of CBI has been admitted by the Supreme Court for hearing.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2011 on page no. 7

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