The Allahabad high court on Thursday 22, 2018 dismissed a plea to overturn the UP-government’s decision which denied any sanction to prosecute the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath in an old case of hate speech pertaining to 2007. On January 27, 2007, a man was killed during a confrontation between members of two communities. Yogi Adityanath, who was then Gorakhpur MP, had allegedly made provocative speeches, as per the police FIR which was filed after the HC intervention.
It must be recalled that a Hindu youth, Raj Kumar Agrahari was attacked by a mob, allegedly dragging him out of a police jeep in Gorakhpur following a minor altercation. Agrahari later died of his wounds. The root cause of the event was trivial but hot heads on both sides, used it to loot and rampage throughout Gorakhpur. While initially, the District Magistrate had made it clear that Adityanath should not visit the site as it may inflame tensions (btw, Gorakhpur is his parliamentary constituency) to which he agreed but later, but after Agrahari died, he disobeyed the magistrate and travelled to the site with a group of his followers and started a non-violent dharna on the site.
However, allegedly inflammatory speeches were made and somebody set fire to a nearby mazar. A curfew was imposed by the local police and Yogi Adityanath was arrested by the UP police for breaching it. Yogi Adityanath was booked under various sections of the IPC and sent to jail, along with 150 of his supporters following which the situation actually went out of hand with rabble-rousers who went about with looting and vagrancy in the town causing great damage and loss of limbs to all sides. The issue remained in a limbo for several long years even when Governments changed and finally, in 2017, the court took cognizance of this fact, asking the government to speed up the case. However, allegations were made that the presented evidence against Yogi were being tampered by his opponents for political gains.
A division bench comprising Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Akhilesh Chandra Sharma heard the writ petition filed by plaintiffs, Parwez Parvaz and Asad Hayat, seeking that the probe be handed over to an independent agency like the CBI on the ground that “one cannot be a judge in his own case” and the state police’s CB-CID was “deliberately delaying and impeding investigation”. The primary contention of the defendants, the UP Government was that the evidence was tampered with and hence there are no grounds to grant any sanction to prosecute.
The bench, concurring with the arguments of the defendants stated that they did not find any procedural error either in the conduct of the investigation or in the decision making the process of refusal to grant sanction or any other illegality in the order. Thus, there was no need to approach the courts.