Babri case: If convicted, Advani, Joshi and Bharti could face up to 5-yr jail

Meanwhile, Uma Bharti, who had planned a trip to Ayodhya tonight, decided against it after meeting BJP chief Amit Shah.

New Delhi: The charges for which BJP stalwarts L K Advani, M M Joshi, Uma Bharti and other VVIPs will be tried in the politically sensitive Babri Masjid demolition case, entails a punishment ranging from two to five years imprisonment.

Uma Bharti, who earlier on Wednesday said that she is ready to sacrifice her life for construction of Ram temple, cancelled her visit to Ayodhya hours after making an announcement in this regard.

Bharti, who had planned to go to Ayodhya from Delhi on Wednesday night, decided against it after a meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah, according to a report in NDTV. Shah asked her to call off her trip following Modi’s instruction to party’s core leader to be cautious while reacting to the Supreme Court’s verdict.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday restored the offence of criminal conspiracy which was originally invoked against them along with other charges in the case.

They will be tried under Indian Penal Code offences for allegedly promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion etc, imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration and statements conducing to public mischief of the IPC for which the maximum punishment is five years.

Other charges of injuring or defiling place of worship with the intent to insult the religion of any class entails maximum sentence of two years, while for the offence of deliberate and malicious acts intending to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs, carriesa maximum penalty of a three-year jail term.

Besides Advani (89), Joshi(83) and Bharti (57), others who will face trial are Champat Rai Bansal, Satish Pradhan, Dharam Das, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahamadleshwar Jagdish Muni, RamBilas Vadanti, Vaikunth Lal Sharma and Satish Chandra Nagar.

Those who have since died include Bal Thackeray, Giriraj Kishore, Ashok Singhal and Paramhans Ram Chandra Das.

In the other case, charges framed against unknown karsevaks involve dacoity, which entails minimum 10 years jail or life imprisonment.

Other charges include robbery which entails a punishment of seven years, causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others and trespassing which carry two year and one year imprisonment.

The remaining charges are the same as that of the VIPs.

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh unit of the BJP, putting up a brave face, said it has full faith in the judiciary after the apex court allowed a CBI plea seeking trial of top party leaders for criminal conspiracy in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

"We will go to the trial court. This does not make us convicts," state BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi told PTI here hours after the Supreme Court restored the criminal conspiracy charges against L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti.

"We will present evidence before the trial court, where it will be examined and cross-examined," he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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