Conspiracy charges against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders like LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and others in Babri demolition case must be restored, Central Bureau of Investigation urged the Supreme Court today.

The CBI has challenged the Allahabad High Court order in May 2010 confirming the lower court’s decision to drop conspiracy charges against the BJP veterans. Earlier the top court had last month adjourned the Babri Masjid demolition case for two weeks and had asked the BJP veterans and other accused to give their written submissions.

Advani’s lawyer had told the Supreme Court that if conspiracy charges are added, then 183 witnesses who had testified in a lower court would have to be called again.

Advani, Joshi and 13 others including Vinay Katiyar and former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh were freed by a lower court in Rae Bareli of conspiracy charges in demolishing the Babri masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.

The controversial demolition was the result of an ongoing dispute between Muslims and Hindus, who believe the Mughal emperor Babur razed a temple at the site believed to be the birthplace of Hindu god Ram.

In 2010, the Allahabad High Court confirmed the lower court’s decision to drop charges against the BJP veterans. The CBI has challenged the high court order.