New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to BJP leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and others on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plea to restore the charges of criminal conspiracy against them in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

A bench of Justice V S Sirpurkar and Justice T S Thakur issued notices after Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the CBI, questioned the legality of the Allahabad High Court's May 20, 2010 order.  The court had dismissed the CBI’s plea for revival of criminal conspiracy charges against leaders.

In its petition, the CBI said: "The order passed by the High Court results in serious miscarriage of justice, violates the principle of consolidated investigation, consolidated chargesheet and also disables an effective trial.”

The May 2010 order of the High Court noted that there was no merit in the agency's revision petition challenging the May 4, 2001 order of the special court which directed dropping of criminal conspiracy charges against them.

The CBI had chargesheeted Advani and 20 others under sections 153A IPC (promoting enmity between classes), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505 (false statements, rumours etc circulated with the intent to cause mutiny or disturb public peace).

The judge had also said that the CBI at no point of time, either during the trial at Rai Bareli or in its revision petition, ever stated that there was offence of criminal conspiracy against the leaders, as was being submitted now.

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh besides VHP leaders Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore,  Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Sadhvi Rithambara, Vinay Katiyar and Mahant Avaidya Nath among others are accused of their involvement in the 1992 demolition case.

(Agencies)