The Allahabad High Court on February 22 dismissed a writ petition demanding a CBI investigation into the role of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s role in the 2007 riots in Gorakhpur.
The justice bench, headed by Justice Krishna Murari and Justice AC Sharma, declined to entertain the petition by Parvez Parwaz and Asad Ayaz, which was filed in 2008.
Allahabad HC rejects petition
The petition filed by Parvez Parwaz and Asad Ayaz was seeking an investigation by an independent organisation like CBI. The petitioners argued that the Crime Branch of the Crime Investigation Department (CB-CDI) was “deliberately delaying and impeding investigation”.
The two-member bench, however, said,”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. Writ petition must fail and accordingly stands dismissed. However, in the facts and circumstances, we do not make any order as to costs.”
Syed Farman Naqvi, the counsel for Parvez Parwaz and Asad Ayaz, told TheWire,”There were two prayers in front of the HC, both of which were rejected. We had sought a fresh independent enquiry by an agency other than crime branch, CID, which was handling the case until now. Secondly, we questioned the state government’s decision to refuse sanction to the CB-CID to prosecute Adityanath and four other BJP leaders. The court said that it found no material irregularity committed by the state in investigation as well as while refusing to grant sanction for prosecution.”
On January 27, 2007, a man was killed during a confrontation between members of two communities. Yogi Adityanath, the then Gorakhpur MP, had allegedly made hate speeches, as per the police FIR, which was filed after the HC intervention.
Adityanath was sent to jail (he was released after 11 days). Following his arrest, Hindu Yuva Vahini, a group founded by Adityanath himself, created mayhem and burnt down trains and buses.
However, following a court order, an FIR was lodged at the Cantonment police station of Gorakhpur on November 2, 2008 by Parwaz alleging that Adityanath, the then mayor of Gorakhpur Anju Chaudhri, then MLA Radha Mohan Agarwal, and another person had incited violence and riots by delivering hate speeches.
The FIR was lodged under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 295B (inciting communal violence) and 153A (delivering hate speech) of the IPC.
On May 3, 2017, the government refused to grant sanctions to prosecute Adityanath, who was by then the Chief Minister of UP, stating that the petitioners need not have approached the court because other remedies, such as filing a protest petition, were available.
Adityanath, who is booked under IPC 153A for making a hate speech, could be tried only after his prosecution is sanctioned by the state government.
In December, 2017, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik paved the way clear for withdrawing the 22-year-old case against Yogi Adityanath and 12 others giving a push to the controversial Uttar Pradesh Criminal Law (Composition of Offences and Abatement of Trials (Amendment) Bill, 2017.The Governor cleared eight bills in the Vidhan Sabha, which included the bill of quashing 22,000 politically motivated cases across the state.
Meanwhile, Parwaz, one of the petitioners and a practicing journalist in Gorakhpur, claimed that the UP government has pressed false charges and has initiated criminal proceedings against him.