In a move which has come as a breather for the Arya Samaj leader Swami Agnivesh, the Haryana government has declined to give prosecution sanction against him in a case with regard to utterances against Amarnath Yatra allegedly calling it “fraud”.
During a trip to Jammu in May last year, Agnivesh had allegedly remarked on people taking Amarnath Yatra, " I do not understand those who go for the Yatra. It is a religious deception. I do not believe in this type of religion."
The state government counsel submitted a letter dated May 14 declining prosecution sanction before the bench headed by justice Paramjeet Singh of the Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday.
An FIR was registered against Agnivesh on May 23 last year at Hansi, Haryana on the complaint of social activist Praveen Tayal, under section 295A(deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code on his comments against Amarnath Yatra.
The high court had earlier directed the Haryana government to file an affidavit as to whether the government had given sanction for Agnivesh’s prosecution.
On request of the petitioner’s counsel Satya Pal Jain to submit his reply to the letter submitted by the state government with regard to refusal of prosecution sanction, the bench adjourned the hearing for May 28.
The case with regard to the FIR is at present sub judice before the sub-divisional judicial magistrate(SDJM) Hansi.
Earlier, the court of SDJM Hansi had issued non-bailable warrants against Agnivesh on August 29 last year on the basis of FIR. However, Agnivesh approached the Punjab and Haryana high court on August 30 last year seeking quashing of the FIR which was dimissed by the high court.
The Hansi SDJM court on September 19, 2011 had also initiated proceedings to declare Agnivesh as proclaimed offender when the state police failed to produce him before the court. Following this Agnivesh had approached the high court seeking anticipatory bail on which he was granted interim bail with the directions to join the investigations.