Criminal case no 2252/06, State through CBI versus Lal Krishna Advani and others, was transferred from Lalitpur to Rae Bareli under a High Court order passed in September 1993. It reached the Rae Bareli court almost a decade later, in March 2003.
On March 29, 2003, the court issued summons to eight persons: Mr. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar, Ashok Singhal, Sadhvi Rithambara and Vishnu Hari Dalmia and Acharya Giriraj Kishore. Mr. Advani was discharged in the case in September 2003. In July 2005, the charges against him were reinstated after a review by the High Court.
After depositions by the investigating officers and prosecution witnesses, the Rae Bareli court framed charges on July 28, 2005 against all eight accused, holding that prima facie offences were made out against them under IPC sections 153 (A) ,153 (B), 505, 147 and 149.
Testifying in the court on Friday, IPS officer Anju Gupta said that Mr. Advani made a fiery speech that electrified the kar sevaks. However, she added that she could not hear his full speech as she had to leave the dais.
So will the case against Mr. Advani hold up in the light of this remark by Ms. Gupta? Section 153 A and 153 B relate to promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, caste, race, etc. and assertions prejudicial to national integration.
Section 505 is for false statements and rumours circulated to cause public mischief. Section 147 is for rioting.
Legal experts say that Section 149 could prove tricky for Mr. Advani. Because it binds all the accused together, holding them responsible for one another's offence.
To quote Section 149: “If an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such as the members or that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence.”
In other words, this section brings every one present on the dais on December 6 under its ambit.
The progress of the case, at least where Mr. Advani is concerned, will depend on how successfully the prosecution implicates the BJP leader under this section.