Memorandum to the Hon’ble President of India

Respected Rashtrapatiji,

We, the undersigned, seek your intervention on a matter of urgent public importance which causes considerable concern and raises serious apprehension about the subversion of rule of law and its application.

After the demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya on 6th December 1992, an FIR relating to Crime No. 198/92 under various sections of IPC was lodged in the local Ram Janam Bhumi Police Station. A large number of persons including the following accused persons were named in the FIR:

1. Shri Ashok Singhal

2. Shri Giriraj Kishore

3. Shri Lal Krishna Advani

4. Shri Murali Manohar Joshi

5. Shri Vishnu Hari Dalmia

6. Shri Vinay Katiyar

7. Sushree Uma Bharati

8. Sadhvi Ritambara

The case was originally entrusted to CBCID, Uttar Pradesh but subsequently transferred to CBI in August 1993. The case was first heard in the Court of Judicial Magistrate sitting at Rai Barailley but subsequently it was transferred to the Special Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate at Lucknow constituted under a Notification dated 8th October, 1993. On 9th September 1997, the Additional Session Judge passed an order for framing charges against the accused persons as mentioned above.

Against the order for framing of charges, the accused persons filed Criminal Revision in the High Court of Lucknow Bench. While deciding the case, Hon’ble Justice Jagdish Bhalla on 12th February 2001, pointed out certain legal infirmities in the Notification dated 8th October 1993, setting up the Special Court and observed that the Special Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow did not have jurisdiction to try or inquire into and commit to the Court of Session’s case Crime No. 198 of 1992. However, in the same judgement, the Court observed that the mistake committed by the State Government in issuing Notification No. 5175/VII/Nyaya-II/739/87 dated 8th October, 1993 is curable and is open to the State Government, if they so desire, to rectify its mistake/illegality by issuing a fresh notification after consultation with the High Court in accordance with the law. This view was reiterated in Supreme Court’s observation also.

However, the UP government under BJP and now the coalition government of BJP-BSP under Km. Mayawati are not issuing fresh notification to rectify the mistake and protecting some persons holding high offices in the Union Government.

We are sorry at the blatant manner in which the UP Government has refused to take cognizance of the Supreme Court directives to issue a fresh notification for proceeding on the case. The issue of a fresh notification is necessary to remove the legal infirmity as pointed out by the judgement of Justice Jagdish Bhalla of Lucknow Bench of High Court. It appears due to political expediency of the BJP-BSP led State Government in UP the process of administering justice and upholding rule of law is being subverted by the refusal of State Government to correct the technical lapse and send back the case in the courts. This cannot be accepted and we, the undersigned, therefore, are seeking your intervention to ensure that justice is administered without fear or favour.

With kind regards,

Pranab Mukherjee, MP (Congress)

Harkishan Singh Surjeet (General Secretary, CPI-M)

Deve Gowda (President, Janata Dal-S)

Laloo Prasad Yadav (President, Rashtriya Janata Dal)

A.B. Bardhan (General Secretary, CPI)

Abani Roy, MP (RSP)

Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc)

Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M)