I’m not a criminal: Uma Bharti ahead of Babri hearing

Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], May 30 (ANI): Ahead of her hearing in the Lucknow special CBI court in a case related to the demolition of the Babri Masjid, Union Minister Uma Bharti on Tuesday said that she is not a 'criminal'.
"It is the matter of God and in such a case I can only have expectations from him. Since I have taken part in it with devotion, I don't consider myself as a criminal," Bharti said.
However, Bharti flatly rejected the charges of the opposition for conspiring in the matter.
"It was an open protest, as it was during the time of emergency. What conspiracy was there in it I don't know," she said.
Before appearing in the CBI court here today BJP leader Vinay Katiyar assured that he will follow the rulings.
"I don't want to say anything on this, court has to take the decision and we will follow it. The court has issued summons against us. We will appear before the court and will see what will happen," Katiyar told ANI.
The CBI court will frame charges today against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
The leaders will appear today before the Special CBI judge S K Yadav.
The court had also asked BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, VHP's Vishnu Hari Dalmia and Sadhvi Ritambara to present themselves before the court in person.
While directing the accused to present themselves in person, the judge had said no application for adjournment or exemption from personal appearance shall be entertained.
The court, which is hearing two separate cases relating to the demolition, would also frame charges against Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahant Ram Vilas Vedanti, Baikunth Lal Sharma alias Prem Ji, Champat Rai Bansal, Mahant Dharma Das and Satish Pradhan in the second matter.
The Supreme Court had on April 19 ordered prosecution of Advani, Joshi, Uma Bharti, and other accused for criminal conspiracy in the politically sensitive case. It had also ordered day-to-day trial to be concluded in two years.
The apex court ordered that two separate cases in Lucknow and Raebareli against Advani, Joshi and Bharti and unknown 'kar sevaks' shall be brought together in one trial.
The apex court also directed the trial court in Lucknow to commence the proceedings in four weeks and hear the matter on a day-to-day basis so as to complete the hearing in two years. The apex court also said there will be no 'de novo' (fresh) trial.
The CBI has been ordered to ensure that at least one prosecution witness appears in the trial court for recording of testimony.
To ensure a speedy trial, the top court has given two important directions – first, no party shall be granted adjournments without the sessions' judge being satisfied of the reasons for it; second, the trial judge hearing the case shall not be transferred till the judgement is delivered. (ANI)

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