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SC adjourns hearing on Babri Masjid dispute till tomorrow
The Supreme Court (SC) today adjourned its hearing on dropping criminal conspiracy charges against several prominent BJP leaders and other Hindu Right-wing extremists.

The SC had earlier hinted at reviving the charges while hearing the plea by CBI that has challenged the trial court's decision to drop criminal conspiracy charges against some of the accused in the case.

Justice RS Nariman, who had criticised dropping of charges against the 13 leaders, however, is not part of the bench that is hearing the matter.

Yesterday, another bench of the SC had called for an amicable out-of-court settlement to the dispute, saying that the "sensitive and sentimental matter" is best settled out of court. In fact, Chief Justice of India JS Khehar had even offered to mediate such out-of-court negotiations.

The issue stems from the dispute over the place where Babri Masjid built by Mughal Emperor Babar once stood. Many Hindus believe that this is the place where Lord Ram was born and thus it should be restored as a temple. Muslims on the other hand believe that the place should be restored as a mosque.

The mosque was demolished on December 6, 1992 by karsevaks of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). The demolition led to communal riots across the country and left more than 3,000 people dead.

In the demolition case, the CBI had booked several BJP leaders including Murli Manohar Joshi, LK Advani, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh, however, they were later discharged by the Allahabad High Court.

However, Justice Nariman & Justice Ghose had made some strong remarks against the trial court's decision to drop the conspiracy charges on technical grounds.

"People cannot be discharged like this," Justice Nariman said.

"There is something very peculiar going on in this case. We prima facie do not approve of the way these people have been discharged," the bench had remarked.

"We will allow the CBI to file a supplementary chargesheet by including the conspiracy charges," the Bench had added.

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