The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed CBI's appeal challenging withdrawal of conspiracy charges against Senior BJP leaders including L K Advani, M M Joshi, Uma Bharti and others.
Among others who will face criminal conspiracy charges include Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambara, Satish Pradhan, Champat Rai Bansal and Late Giriraj Kishore.
The apex court has excluded Kalyan Singh in the matter. The Supreme Court said that Kalyan Singh enjoys Constitutional immunity as Rajasthan Governor and can be tried only after he ceases to hold office.
The Supreme Court has also ordered the CBI to ensure that witnesses are produced in court everyday so that there is no delay in the Babri demolition case trial. The Supreme Court also ruled that the trial will have to be completed in two years.
Here is a timeline showcasing the long-standing dispute:
The first suit regarding the disputed Babri Masjid structure was filed in 1885
1885: Mahant Raghubir Das was refused permission to build a temple on the outer courtyard of the Babri Masjid
1949: Idols of Ram Lalla are placed surreptitiously under the central dome.
1950: Gopal Simla Visharad files first suit in Faizabad civil court for rights to perform pooja to Ram Lalla.
1950: Paramahansa Ramachandra Das files a suit for continuation of pooja and keeping idols in the structure.
1959: Nirmohi Akhara files third suit, seeking direction to hand over charge of the disputed site. U.P. Sunni Central Wakf Board files fourth suit in
1961 for declaration and possession and fifth in 1989 in the name of Ram Lalla Virajman for declaration and possession.
1986: District judge orderes locks be removed. Site opened for Hindu worshippers.
1989: The four suits pending were transferred to the High Court.
1991: U.P. govt. acquires land around the structure for convenience of devotees who attend Ram Lalla darshan.
December 1992: Babri Masjid demolished by a frenzied mob of karsevaks. Two FIRs filed in the Babri Masjid demolition case. Crime no. 197 deals with actual “demolition of the mosque by karsevaks.” Crime no. 198 named L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and others for ‘communal’ speeches before the demolition.
1993: Govt. takes over 67 acres of land around the area, seeks SC's opinion on whether there existed a Hindu place of worship before the structure was built.
October, 1993: CBI files a composite charge sheet and accuses Advani and other leaders of ‘conspiracy’
1994: Case goes back to Lucknow Bench of HC, suits heard again from 1996.
May 4, 2001: Special Judge S.K. Shukla drops conspiracy charge against 13 accused, including Mr. Advani and Kalyan Singh. Bifurcates Crimes 197 and 198.
May 20, 2010: Advani, others absolved of conspiracy charges
Allahabad HC upholds May 4, 2001 special court order, dismisses the CBI’s revision petition for a direction to proceed with the conspiracy charge against Mr. Advani and others.
September 30, 2010: Allahabad HC awards two-thirds of Ayodhya site to Hindu parties, one-third to Waqf Board.
Also read: Disputed structure built against Islamic tenets: Justice D.V. Sharma | Judges were required to clear the “innumerable landmines...where angels fear to tread”: Justice S.U. Khan | Highlights of the judgments
February, 2011: CBI moves Supreme Court. Argues that “the actual demolition of the Babri Masjid and the continuous assault on media persons form a single connected transaction and can well be a concerted conspiracy”.
May 9, 2011: Supreme Court stays Allahabad High Court verdict on Ayodhya dispute.
December 25, 2014: Oldest litigant in Babri Masjid case passes away
Mohammad Farooq, a resident of Ayodhya, was one of the seven main litigants from Muslim side in the 1949 Babri Masjid case.
March 6, 2017: SC indicates it may revive conspiracy charge and order a joint trial of crimes 197 and 198.
March 22, 2017: adding that it is willing to appoint a principal negotiator if the parties want