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Last Updated : Aug 21, 2018 02:37 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Yogi Adityanath hate speech case: SC sends notice to UP govt

Senior advocate Aman Lekhi, who is representing the Uttar Pradesh government, has said that he will file the response in two weeks

The Supreme Court pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government on Monday, questioning the state's refusal to indict Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a 2007 hate speech case.

The top court issued a notice to the UP government on the basis of a plea that challenged the Allahabad High Court's decision of accepting the state's refusal to grant a sanction to prosecute Adityanath in the hate speech case.

The petition was filed by Gorakhpur resident Parvez Parvaz and Azamgarh resident Asad Hayat.

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A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and comprising of Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, has issued a notice to the Director General of Police (Crime Branch), Gorakhpur District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police.

The next hearing will take place after six weeks.

Senior advocate Aman Lekhi, who is representing the Uttar Pradesh government, has said that he will file the response in two weeks.

On February 22, 2018, the Allahabad High Court had dismissed a plea to overturn the state government's decision to deny sanction to prosecute Adityanath.

It had also denied another plea seeking a fresh probe by an independent agency other than Crime Branch CID (CB-CID), which had handled the case till then.

Here is a brief timeline of the case:

January 27, 2007: During the Gorakhpur Hindu-Muslim riots, Adityanath (then MP from Gorakhpur) allegedly delivers a speech calling for revenge against Muslims, which precipitates in large scale violence between the two communities.

2008: Petitioner Parvez Parvaz files a case against the then MP of Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath, for delivering a hate speech during the 2007 Gorakhpur Hindu-Muslim riots. A magistrate court in Gorakhpur admits the petition and starts criminal proceedings against Yogi.

2015: The CB-CID submits its draft final report (DFR) to the state government and seeks sanction to initiate prosecution against Adityanath and the others accused. The report finds five leaders, including Adityanath, guilty of making provocative speeches with intent of causing riot, outraging the religious feelings of a community and promoting enmity between two communities.

May 4, 2017: The Allahabad High Court pulls up the UP government "for unnecessarily delaying its sanction to initiate prosecution against the five accused. It notes that the CB-CID has been waiting for more than two years for the required permissions to file a chargesheet in the matter.

It is noteworthy, that on April 28, 2017 the top court pointed out: "From a perusal of record, it appears that the matter of sanction regarding prosecution of the accused persons is pending before the state government and the question of grant of sanction for prosecution is to be decided by the head of the state government, who himself is a prime accused in the present FIR lodged by petitioner no.1 (Pervez Parwaz)."

May 12, 2017: The BJP government of Uttar Pradesh denies the sanction sought by the CB-CID to prosecute the accused and file a charge sheet in the matter citing 'inadequate and inconclusive evidence'.

June 2017: The then DG (Crime) writes a letter to the chief secretary saying that the matter is closed and that there was no reason for any other independent agency to probe the case further.

The petitioners, Parvez Parvaz and Asad Hayat, alleged eyewitnesses to Yogi's speech, filed a fresh plea challenging the state government's decision of not allowing criminal proceedings against the accused.

However, in February 2018, the Allahabad High Court rejected it saying: "In view of aforesaid facts and discussions, we do not find any procedural error either in the conduct of the investigation or in the decision-making process of refusal to grant sanction or any other illegality in the order which may require any interference by this court while exercising its extra-ordinary power under Article 226 of the constitution of India."

The Supreme Court bench led by the CJI has now agreed to hear the petition, which points out that "the home department was under the chief minister and he could not be a judge in his own cause", The Indian Express reported.

The petitioners also claimed that they had submitted a written request to the investigating officer to procure details of a television programme in which Adityanath had reportedly admitted to the incident.

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First Published on Aug 21, 2018 02:29 pm
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