The court's directive came after only former Shiv Sena lawmaker Satish Pradhan was present in the court when the special CBI judge took up the Babri demolition case. The court told the other accused to make sure they are present at the hearing next week for framing of charges against them. The leaders wouldn't be allowed to seek exemption from being present, the judge added.
Last month, the Supreme Court restored conspiracy charges against Mr Advani, 89, and a dozen other leaders and given the special court in Lucknow a month to frame fresh charges. The top court wanted the trial to be completed within 2 years.
The demolition of the mosque came after a movement led by BJP's LK Advani and other Sangh Parivar leaders for a temple to be built on the same spot where the masjid was constructed by the Mughals. Many Hindus believe that the mosque was built over the birthplace of Lord Ram; they want a temple to be built there. The razing of the Babri Masjid incited nationwide riots between Hindus and Muslims; around 2,000 people were killed.