Hate speech: SC upholds HC order backing UP’s no to prosecute Yogi

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal challenging the Allahabad High Court’s decision refusing to allow the UP government to prosecute Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for allegedly making inflammatory speeches in a 2007 case. Had done it. Adityanath was BJP’s Gorakhpur MP at that time.

On August 24, a bench of Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, and Justices Hima Kohli and C T Ravikumar reserved its order in the matter.

Writing for the bench, Justice Ravikumar agreed with the submission of senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the UP government, that “subsequent events” in the case “turned the present appeal into a purely academic exercise”.

As such, the bench said, “We do not consider it necessary to go into the arguments raised by both the parties on the issue of denial of sanction for prosecution and the legal arguments sought to be raised in respect of the said issue.”

However, the bench observed that “we think it is appropriate that the legal questions on the issue of sanction be left open for consideration in a suitable matter”.

The petitioner, Parvez Parwaz, had challenged the UP government’s decision on May 3, 2017 – two months after Adityanath took over as chief minister for the first time – to deny the sanction of prosecution.

Advocate Fuzail Ayyubi, appearing for Parwaz, argued that the Allahabad High Court, which had dismissed the petition on February 22, 2018, had not gone to the question of “whether the State was under section 196 of CrPC in respect of a proposed accused”. may pass orders under In a criminal case, who, meanwhile, gets elected as the Chief Minister and the executive head by the scheme provided for under Article 163.

As per Section 196 of CrPC, no court can take cognizance of an offence under Section 153A of IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, caste, place of birth, residence, language, etc.), and doing unfavourable work for maintenance. good faith) or 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) without the prior sanction of the Central or State Government.

The High Court had found no procedural error or refusal to grant sanction in the investigation.

Rohatgi pointed out that a closure report had already been filed in the case after due investigation on May 6, 2017, and the CD that formed the basis of the prosecution was “tampered”.

The Supreme Court Bench also observed in its order that “it appears from the record that the forensic report of the CD which forms the basis for the prosecution, was tampered with and edited as per the report dated 13.10.2014. What position has been maintained by the CFSL”. herein has not been disputed by the appellants”.

The case pertains to an incident on January 27, 2007, when a man identified as Raj Kumar Agrahari suffered fatal injuries in a clash between two groups during a Muharram procession. Parvaz, a former Gorakhpur-based journalist and activist, filed the case on September 26, 2008, claiming that Adityanath had given a speech to seek “revenge” for the death of Hindu youth and that he had videos of the same.

On July 10, 2015, the police had sought sanction from the Samajwadi Party-led state government to prosecute Adityanath, as well as former MLC Y D Singh, MLA Radha Mohan Das Agarwal, former BJP mayor Anju Choudhary and former minister Shiv Pratap Shukla

In its affidavit, the government said the forensic report found that the submitted videos of the speeches were not original and were “edited and tampered with (with)”, and the voice samples were not taken directly from Adityanath but another speech.

In July 2020, the Gorakhpur District and Sessions Court sentenced Parwaz to life imprisonment in the 2018 gang rape case, a 40-year-old woman accused of assaulting him and another man on June 3, 2018.

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