Explain Why Yogi Adityanath Should Not Be Prosecuted: SC Asks UP Govt
The Supreme Court on August 20 asked the Uttar Pradesh government to explain within four weeks time as to why Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath should not be prosecuted for allegedly delivering a hate speech in 2007 in Gorakhpur, UP.
Supreme Court issues notice to Uttar Pradesh government in connection with a speech given by Yogi Adityanath in 2007, asked govt to reply as to why he should not be prosecuted for allegedly giving a hate speech in 2007? pic.twitter.com/z2puUmxwbQ
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 20, 2018
According to the Hindustan Times, the apex court was hearing a petition which challenged the Allahabad High Court’s decision to uphold UP government’s decision to refuse permission for prosecuting the Chief Minister. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud issued the notice to the state government in this regard. The next hearing will be held after four weeks.
Reportedly, on the evening of 26th January 2007, there were clashes between two groups during a Muharram procession which resulted in the death of one Raj Kumar Agrahari. After this, a curfew was imposed in parts of the city. As reported by Scroll, Yogi Adityanath who was an MP from Gorakhpur at the time, violated the imposition of section 144 and delivered a speech outside Gorakhpur railway station.
Following his speech where Adityanath allegedly talked about seeking “revenge” for the death of the Hindu youth in the clash, violence broke out beyond Gorakhpur which resulted in the deaths of two people. Moreover, mosques, houses, buses and even a train were set ablaze. While On January 27, 2007, the Kotwali Police registered an FIR against Adityanath and others for promoting enmity between two groups. Reportedly, Adityanath was arrested and was remanded to police custody for 11 days.
The matter came to light when in November 2008, a petition was filed by Mohammad Asad Hayat and Parvez, a journalist and activist from Gorakhpur who stated that the present CM’s inflammatory speech sparked the 2007 riots in Gorakhpur. The petitioners had demanded a probe against the present CM under sections 302, 307, 153A, 395 and 295 of the IPC, which pertain to murder and rioting.
A decade-long legal battle
However, in February of 2018, the Allahabad High Court division bench, headed by Justices Krishna Murari and AC Sharma had dismissed a writ petition seeking a CBI investigation into UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s alleged role in the 2007 riots. The petitioners sought a probe by an independent agency into the riot case as they expressed concerns over the fact that the CB-CID, who was conducting the investigation might fail to do it in an impartial manner.
The bench, as quoted by The Indian Express, 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.”
Farman Naqvi, counsel for the petitioners, said the verdict was “hopelessly disappointing”. “The findings are illegal and contrary to facts. We will file an appeal in the Supreme Court against this order,” he said as reported by Scroll.