By Padmakshi Sharma / Live Law
The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved judgment on a plea challenging the denial of sanction to prosecute Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a case alleging making of hate speech in 2007. The matter was heard by a bench comprising Chief Justice of India, N.V. Ramana, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice C.T. Ravikumar.
The petitioner Parvez Parwaz alleged that Yogi Adityanath had made anti-Muslim hate remarks while addressing “Hindu Yuva Vahini” activists in a meeting held in Gorakhpur on January 27, 2007. He challenged the decision taken by the UP Government on May 3, 2017 to refuse sanction to prosecute the accused in the case and also the closure report filed in the case. He had earlier approached the Allahabad High Court, which dismissed the petition on February 22, 2018, following which he filed the Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court.
Advocate Fuzzail Ayyubi, appearing for petitioner, started his first submission by underscoring the issue, which was-
“Whether the State can pass an order under Section 196 Cr.P.C. 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 of India.”
He stated that this issue had not been dealt by the Allahabad High Court in its order dated 22 February, 2018. The question that thus arose was whether the Chief Minister, as an executive head, could participate in the sanction process.
He highlighted other issues raised before the High Court and stated that the first issue was that investigation did not inspire confidence and therefore it needs to be transparent. The CJI enquired–
“Once a closure report is filed in the case, where is the question of sanction? It is an academic question…If there is no case, where will the question of sanction come?”
To this, the petitioner stated that there was a case as there was a hate speech, there was a DVD found, an FSL report came and a draft final report (DFR) was prepared. Prima facie, he stated, a case was made and thus a sanction was sought which was declined between the Law department and the Home department. Thus, Adv Ayyubi stated that the department itself decided and declined the issue.
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