In a 23-year-old criminal case, the Supreme Court mandates the court in Varanasi to provide a copy of the charge sheet to Congress MP Surjewala.

Surjewala had filed an appeal against the March 20 order of the Allahabad High Court, which had refused to dismiss the criminal case against him before a court in Varanasi.

However, the high court ordered that if Surjewala submitted a motion for discharge before the lower court, the matter must be reviewed and decided within six weeks.

Justices BR Gavai and Vikram Nath noted, while hearing his petition, that the trial has been lingering for more than 20 years and that Surjewala has not even been served with the charge sheet.

We conclude that it would be contrary to the interests of justice to hear the petition for discharge unless the petitioner has been served with a copy of the charge sheet.

The bench stated, “We direct the trial court judge to ensure the delivery of an admissible copy of the indictment and then hear the case in accordance with the law.”

The highest court clarified that it has not commented on the case’s merits.

In its order, the high court also directed that no coercive action be taken against the Rajya Sabha member for a period of two months or until the discharge application is decided, whichever comes first.

The case dates back to 2000, when Surjewala, who was then the national president of the Youth Congress, was charged with allegedly causing a disturbance in Varanasi while protesting the alleged false involvement of Congress leaders in the Samvasini controversy.

Regarding the application filed by Surjewala under section 482 (inherent powers of high court) of the Criminal Procedure Code, Justice Rajiv Gupta stated, “From the perusal of the material on record and a review of the facts of the case, it cannot be said at this stage that the applicant has not committed an offence.” On August 21, 2000, Surjewala led a protest in Varanasi against the alleged fraudulent involvement of Congress leaders in the Samvasini scandal involving women inmates of a shelter.

During the protest, the Congress leader and his supporters allegedly engaged in vandalism, and stone-throwing, and prevented public servants from carrying out their duties.

He and others were charged with a crime at the Cantt police station in Varanasi. Currently, their trial is taking place in an MP/MLA court in Varanasi.

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Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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