BJP leaders LK Advani, Uma Bharti and Murli Manohar Joshi have been summoned by a CBI court in Lucknow to appear in the court on May 30. The summons has been issued in connection to the Babri Masjid demolition case. The BJP leaders had earlier requested to exempt them from personally appearing in the court, but the same has been denied by the CBI court. It may be recalled that two separate cases were registered after the demolition of Babri Masjid. One of the cases had listed 28 persons as the accused, and this case was taken up in the CBI court in Lucknow. The BJP leaders were named in the second case, which was being heard in a Rae Bareli court. Two other leaders who were named, Ashok Singhal and Giriraj Kishore, have died pending trial.
The recent decision by the CBI court in Lucknow is being considered significant since Advani was among the top candidates for the President’s post. It may be recalled that the delay in the proceedings of the case was strongly criticized by the Supreme Court. The top court had also overturned the Allahabad High Court order, in which charges against Advani and others were dropped.