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Conspiracy charges framed against Advani, Joshi, Uma

 Senior BJP leaders LK Advani, MM Joshi and Uma Bharti and nine others were today charged with criminal conspiracy in the 1992 Babri mosque demolition case by a special CBI court here.

The charges were framed against Advani (89), Joshi (83), Bharti (58), BJP MP Vinay Katiyar (62), VHP's Vishnu Hari Dalmiya (89) and one-time Hindutva firebrand Sadhvi Rithambara (53) -- all of whom appeared before the court.

All six were granted bail by CBI special judge SK Yadav on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 each. The CBI had opposed their bail plea.
The court adjourned the hearing of the case till tomorrow.
The accused, who spent nearly three hours in the court, had sought discharge for the offence of criminal conspiracy, which the judge rejected.
The charge of conspiracy is in addition to the existing charges against them for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.
The serious charge of criminal conspiracy was restored against them by the Supreme Court which on April 19 had directed clubbing two cases relating to the demolition. The court had also directed that the trial be concluded in two years.
Besides the six, conspiracy charges have been framed against Ramvilas Vedanti, Baikunth Lal Sharma, Champat Rai Bansal, Mahant Nritya Gopaldas, Dharam Das and Satish Pradhan -- all of whom were allegedly present when the 16th-century structure in Ayodhya was demolished on December 6, 1992.
Judge Yadav passed two orders -- one for grant of bail and the other for framing of charges.
The accused are also facing charges of having made assertions prejudicial to national integration and injuring or defiling a place of worship.
The other charges against them include indulging in deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings, uttering statements leading to public mischief, rioting and unlawful assembly.
The maximum punishment in such a case would be five years in jail or a fine or both, according to a lawyer who attended the proceedings in the court.
The accused had argued against the framing of charges against them, asserting that they had no role in the razing of the mosque.


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