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 conspiracy charge against Mr Advani and others was dropped by a special CBI Court in 2001, and upheld by the Allahabad High Court in 2010. But last month, the Supreme Court decided that the leaders would to face trial for the conspiracy charges as well. They are already facing trial for giving provocative speeches from a platform near the mosque before it was pulled down by karsevaks, or right-wing volunteers, on 6 December 1992.
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.