SC asks trial court to expedite Babri case

Pulling up the CBI over repeated failure in arguing its appeal on inclusion of conspiracy charges against top BJP leader L K Advani and 19 others in a case relating to 1992 Babri Masjid demolition, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Rae Bareilly trial court to proceed with the case "expeditiously", without getting influenced by the CBI's plea in the apex court.

A Bench of Justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad vent out displeasure over absence of the counsel for the CBI after noting that the Bench had accommodated such a request early in the day but the law officer failed to turn up even on the second call.

The court said it was "reluctantly" granting the request made by a counsel seeking adjournment in the case in view of engagement of the CBI's senior counsel in some other case.

"How many times should we have to adjourn this case? We can say that the law officer is taking the court casually," observed the Bench while posting the matter after eight weeks.

It, however, made it clear that the pendency of the CBI's appeal before it should not delay the trial. "The trial court in Rae Bareilly is to proceed with the trial and complete the trial as expeditiously as possible," it said.

Meanwhile, the court allowed a plea to delete the name of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackerary in the name of respondents after his demise.

The CBI had moved the apex court last year against the Allahabad High Court's order of May 20, 2010 dismissing its plea for revival of criminal conspiracy charges against top BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders, including Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Vinay Katiyar, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Sadhvi Rithambara and Mahant Avaidya Nath.

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