Babri Masjid demolition case: Kalyan Singh appears in court, put on trial

Lucknow: Former Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh was on Friday put on trial by a special CBI court here in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case after he appeared before it responding to its summons in the case.

Special Judge SK Yadav, already holding trial of various BJP leaders, including L K Advani, Murli Manhor Joshi and Uma Bharti for allegedly conspiring to demolish the mosque at the disputed Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya, however, granted bail to Singh, a former UP chief minister too, and exempted him from personal appearance too in the case. The court had earlier issued summons to Singh after his term as Rajasthan governor expired in the first week of this month, stripping him of the constitutional immunity from the trial in the case. Singh, who was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when the 16th-century structure was razed on December 6 in 1992, was first taken in judicial custody by the court after he appeared before it in response to the summons in the demolition case.

After taking the former governor in judicial custody, Special Judge Yadav framed charges against him on various counts of penal offences and put him on the trial as Singh pleaded "not guilty" and claimed trial. The various alleged offences on which Singh was put on trial included promoting enmity on grounds of religion (section 153 A), making assertion prejudicial to national integration (S 153 B), defiling a place of worship (S 295) and criminal conspiracy (S 120 B) under the Indian Penal Code.

After framing charges against Singh, the court, however, granted him bail, responding to a plea by him for the relief. Judge Yadav granted bail to Singh on a personal bond of Rs two lakh and freed him of the judicial custody.

When the court proceeded to fix the next date of hearing in the case, Singh's counsel filed another application, seeking exemption for him from personal appearance in the court during the trial. The court granted relief Singh and exempted him from personal appearance till further orders.

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