Kalyan Singh May Lose Immunity As Governor, Face Trial In Babri Case

President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday appointed former Union Minister Kalraj Mishra as the new Governor of Rajasthan to succeed Mr Singh.

Kalyan Singh May Lose Immunity As Governor, Face Trial In Babri Case

Kalyan Singh as an accused as soon as he ceases to be the Governor (File)

New Delhi:

Outgoing Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh may have to face trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case as the immunity he has been enjoying for holding the constitutional post will go away at the end of his tenure, sources said.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday appointed former Union Minister Kalraj Mishra as the new Governor of Rajasthan to succeed Mr Singh.

On April 19, 2017, the Supreme Court had ordered revival of criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharati.

It had also clarified that Mr Singh, who was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh when the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, could not be brought in as an accused to face trial due to the constitutional immunity granted to Governors under Article 361 of the Constitution.

However, the Supreme Court had told the CBI to call Mr Singh as an accused as soon as he ceases to be the Governor.

Article 361 of the Constitution confers immunity to the President and Governors from criminal and civil cases during their term of office.

It says no court can issue summons to the President or a Governor in any case.

"As Singh's tenure as Governor comes to an end, he may have to face the trial unless the government appoints him in another constitutional post," a source privy to the development said.

Mr Singh was appointed as the Rajasthan Governor on September 3, 2014 for a five-year tenure.

According to the CBI case against Mr Singh, he, as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, had given assurance before the National Integration Council that he would not allow demolition of the disputed structure and the Supreme Court had permitted for only symbolic ''kar sewa'' to be performed at the disputed site.

"Singh had also said that he will fully ensure the protection of the structure and it will not be felled down, but he allegedly acted in opposition to his assurances," said an order of the special judge, Lucknow in 1997 subsequent to a CBI charge sheet against him in 1993.

The CBI had also alleged that Mr Singh, as the chief minister, did not issue the order of the use of the central force.

"From this it seems that prima facie he was a necessary participant in the criminal conspiracy," the special court had ruled in 1997.

Mr Singh had resigned as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh after the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.

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