The Allahabad High Court on Thursday exempted Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from personal appearance in the 2007 Gorakhpur riots case, reports said. The court has also granted permission to ratify the writ petition.
UP Advocate General reportedly told the Allahabad High Court that UP Principal Secretary denied permission to try Yogi Adityanath in the case. The next hearing in the case is scheduled to take place on July 7.
On May 4, the Allahabad High Court had summoned the chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh, directing him to bring along all documents relating to the 2007 Gorakhpur riots in which the then local MP and current Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was named as an accused.
A division bench of justices Ramesh Sinha and Umesh Chandra Srivastava directed the chief secretary to appear in person on May 11 and file a personal affidavit besides producing all documents relating to the 2007 riots, including the sanction given by the state government to prosecute the accused.
The order was passed on a petition filed by Parvez Parwaz, the complainant in the FIR that was lodged at Cantt police station of Gorakhpur in connection with the riots, and Asad Hayat, a witness in the case.
In the petition, apprehensions were raised that the CB-CID, which is an arm of the state police and at present probing the riots, may not conduct an impartial inquiry and a prayer was made that directions be issued for handing over the investigation to an independent agency.
Significantly, on a previous date of hearing in the matter, the petitioners’ counsel S F A Naqvi had raised doubts over the CB-CID’s ability to conduct a proper inquiry as “the person against whom sanction for prosecution has been granted by the state government has himself become the head of the state”.
Naqvi had made the submission in response to an affidavit filed by the CB-CID wherein it had been stated that the state government had granted sanction, under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code (inciting communal violence), to prosecute all those who have been named in the FIR including Yogi, the then Gorakhpur Mayor Anju Chaudhary and local BJP MLA Radha Mohan Das Agarwal.
(With inputs from PTI)