Yogi Once Again Uses State’s Might, Orders Withdrawal of Case Against Himself
December 28, 2017
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered the withdrawal of a case related to defying prohibitory orders against holding a meeting. This order was registered in 1995 against him and 14 others including a Union Minister and saffron party legislator from Sahajanwa in Gorakhpur.
The case against the chief minister, Union Minister of State for Finance, Shiv Pratap Shukla, BJP MLA Sheetal Pandey and 12 others was filed at Gorakhpur's Pipiganj police station on May 27, 1995.
The case was pending in a local court which had earlier directed that non-bailable warrants (NBWs) be issued against the accused for non-appearance before it. Gorakhpur Prosecution Officer BD Mishra has been quoted by The Indian Express as saying, “The court had ordered NBWs against all named but the warrants were not issued then.”
The state government shot off a letter to Gorakhpur district magistrate on December 20, directing that an application be filed to withdraw the case before the court. The government stated in the order that based on a letter received from the District Magistrate on October 27 and after scrutinising facts of the case, it had decided to withdraw the case. The letter mentioned the names of Yogi Adityanath, Shiv Pratap Shukla, Sheetal Pandey and ten others.
Talking to the English daily, Gorakhpur Additional District Magistrate (City) Rajneesh Chandra confirmed that the order for filing an application to withdraw the case had been received. “The Prosecution Officer has been asked to file the withdrawal application in the appropriate court. Apart from the CM, the letter also has names of Union Minister Shiv Pratap Shukla and MLA Sheetal Pandey,” he told the newspaper.
Adityanath has representated Gorakhpur in Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) for five terms before being appointed as the Chief Minister of the state earlier this year. He is now a member of the state’s Legislative Council.
The order was passed a day before the Uttar Pradesh Criminal Law (Composition of Offences and Abatement of Trials) (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in the state Assembly on December 21. The Bill proposing abatement of certain proceedings pending before magistrates until December 31, 2015 was passed the next day.
Before bringing the Bill on the floor of the House, Yogi had told the Assembly that 20,000 “politically-motivated” cases against him were filed across the state for his “dharna pradarshan” or demonstrations. “The amendment to the law would end all the cases,” he said.
This is not the first time Yogi, in his capacity as head of the state has used the might of the state to prevent the law from acting against him.
Soon after becoming the chief minister in May this year, his government had told the Allahabad High Court that he cannot be prosecuted for allegedly making a hate speech during the communal riots in Gorakhpur in 2007.
Then Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar had told the court that the permission for prosecution of the chief minister has been denied by the home department of the state.
First published in Newsclick.
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