A bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra issued notices to BJP and other religious leaders on a f0resh plea filed by Haji Mahboob Ahmad, one of the petitioners in the civil suit relating to the mosque case.
    
Besides BJP leaders Advani, Joshi and Bharti, the court also sought response from Himachal Pradesh Governor Kalyan Singh, among others.

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Besides the 19 leaders, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore were also among the accused. Both have since died.
    
Meanwhile, the bench granted four weeks time to CBI, which had also moved the apex court against dropping of criminal conspiracy charge against the leaders, to file a fresh affidavit to explain the delay in filing the appeal before it.
    
The bench then said it would hear arguments on merits as well as on the delay aspect at the next hearing.


    
Ahmad, in his plea, has sought setting aside of the High Court's order of May 20, 2010, dropping section 120B (criminal conspiracy) under the IPC.
    
"It appears that an artificial distinction was made by the trial court attempting to assign a role in respect of each of the accused persons and to see which offences were made out. The trial court erroneously came to the conclusion that 21 persons (leaders) were not entitled to be tried in crime case no. 197/1992...

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"The distinction has been made out on the ground that in respect of persons against whom only offences of instigation and other allied offences were made out, they should be relegated to crime case no. 198/1992," the plea said, adding that the trial against the persons, allegedly involved in the actual demolition, have been wrongly been separated.
    
"This error in the judgement of the trial court and the high court is contrary to the fundamental principles of criminal jurisprudence... the said transaction has to be viewed in as a whole and evidence cannot be led at two different courts," it said.
    
The CBI had also moved the apex court against dropping of criminal conspiracy charge against various persons also including Vinay Katiyar and Vishnu Hari Dalmiya.



Earlier, the apex court had pulled up CBI for the delay in filing an appeal against the Allahabad High Court verdict.
    
The others against whom the charge was dropped included Satish Pradhan, C R Bansal, Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore 0(now deceased), Sadhvi Ritambhara, V H Dalmia, Mahant Avaidhynath, R V Vedanti, Paramhans Ram Chandra Das, Jagdish Muni Maharaj, B L Sharma, Nritya Gopal Das, Dharam Das, Satish Nagar and Moreshwar Save.
    
Bal Thackeray's name was removed from the list of accused persons after his death.

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CBI has challenged in the Supreme Court the May 21, 2010 order of the high court, which had upheld a special court's decision to drop the charge against the leaders.
    
The high court at that time, however, had allowed CBI to proceed with other charges against Advani and others in a Rae Bareily court, under whose jurisdiction the case falls.
    
The May 2010 order of the high court had said there was no merit in CBI's revision petition against the May 4, 2001 order of the special court which had directed dropping of criminal conspiracy charge against them.

There are two sets of cases -- one against Advani and others who were on the dais at Ram Katha Kunj in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished, while the other case was against lakhs of unknown 'karsevaks' who were in and around the disputed structure.

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CBI had chargesheeted Advani and 20 others under sections 153A (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) of the IPC.
    
It had subsequently invoked charges under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC which was quashed by the special court whose decision was upheld by the high court.

While upholding the special court's order, the high court had said CBI at no point of time, either during the trial at Rae Bareily or in its revision petition, ever stated that there was offence of criminal conspiracy against the leaders.

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