SC reserves verdict in hate speech matter involving UP Chief Minister

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a plea against the Allahabad High Court judgment in a case of alleged hate speech of 2007, involving present Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana that nothing remains in the case and the CD was sent to the CFSL, which found it was tampered with. Noting that the issue raised by the petition has already been examined by the high court, he added: “You cannot go on beating a dead horse now after 15 years just because the man happens to be CM today.”

In February 2018, the high court had said it did not find any procedural error in the decision-making process of refusal to grant sanction to prosecute. The petitioners Parvez Parwaz and others had moved the top court challenging the high court order.

The bench, also comprising Justices Hima Kohli and C.T. Ravikumar, told the petitioners’ lawyer that if there are no criminal proceedings, where is the question of sanction.

Advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi, representing the petitioners, referred to one of the issues mentioned in the high court which reads: “Whether the state can pass an order under section 196 CrPC in respect of a proposed accused in a criminal case who in the meantime gets elected as the Chief Minister and is the executive head as per the scheme provided under Article 163 of the Constitution.”

Ayyubi said the high court did not address this issue and added that due to the denial of sanction to prosecute, a closure report has been filed.

The bench told the petitioners’ counsel that sanction will only come, if there is a case, and if there is no case at all, then where is the question of sanction.

Rohatgi said in 2008, the petitioner gave a CD, which was broken, and after five years he gave another CD claiming to have recorded the hate speech. But it was found to be tampered with, he said.

A case was registered at a police station in Gorakhpur against Yogi Adityanath, then an MP, and several others on alleged charges of promoting enmity between two groups.




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