The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Friday stayed the UP government's proceedings on withdrawing terror cases against those who in its (UP government's) opinion had been wrongly implicated.
Justice Rajeev Sharma and justice Mahendra Dayal issued the order on the petition of lawyer Ranjana Agnihotri and five others who had challenged the validity of the government's move to withdraw the terror cases including those against serial blasts accused Tariq Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid, who died in police custody in Barabanki, central UP, on May 18.
The court has, however, referred the entire issue to a larger bench. Earlier, a Barabanki court had rejected the government's plea in the matter.
The Samajwadi Party, which is in power in UP, in its election manifesto of 2012 had promised to withdraw terror cases against innocent people.
The party had not only promised their release but had also assured them compensation and action against officers who had wrongly implicated them.
Reacting to the court order, Uttar Pradesh urban development minister Azam Khan said the government had committed itself to releasing innocent people arrested on charges of terrorism.
"The government is serious and its intention is to ensure the release of innocent people at the earliest," Khan said in a statement.
He, however, stressed terrorists deserved to be punished.
Talking to HT, additional advocate general Zafaryab Jilani said after going through the order, the government would decide on what action to take.
Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said his government had committed itself to withdrawing fake cases registered against the innocent Muslim youths.