MP, Rajasthan to revoke ‘political cases’ after Mayawati warning
BSP chief Mayawati warned the Congress that her party will reconsider support if they don’t revoke cases filed against “innocent people” during last year’s Bharat Bandh called by Dalit groups.Updated: Jan 01, 2019 21:56 IST
The Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan on Tuesday decided to withdraw all “politically motivated cases” filed by the previous BJP government in the states against workers of political parties and Dalit activists.
The announcement came a day after BSP chief Mayawati warned the Congress in both the states that her party will reconsider support to them if they do not revoke cases filed against “innocent people” during last year’s April 2 Bharat Bandh called by Dalit groups.
“We (Congress) have been fighting (against the BJP government). Irrespective of any party, those who have been fighting the BJP government which had sent people to jail... those political cases will be withdrawn,” Madhya Pradesh law minister PC Sharma said.
Legal experts in the state said it was not easy to withdraw cases against those political workers as they were booked under various Indian Penal Code sections, including arson, attempt to murder and charge-sheets were filed in the court after investigation.
In Rajasthan, chief minister Ashok Gehlot said his government will revoke all the cases, registered against Dalits during the Bharat Bandh last year, after reviewing them. “Our government will review all such cases to ensure that innocents are released.”
He said Mayawati’s demand was valid. “The previous government had framed cases against many people and hence our government will review all such cases,” he said.
“In fact, I am thankful to Mayawati for giving support to our party. She herself took the initiative to extend support to the Congress and hence I am thankful to her,” he said.
MP Bar Council chairman Shivendra Upadhyay said: “It’s the prosecution which can make a plea before the court under section 321 of CrPC for withdrawal of cases, but any case lodged during any public agitation can be withdrawn in public interest only. Then, it’s the discretion of the court whether to allow withdrawal of the cases or not.”
However, he added it would be difficult for the prosecution to convince the court that the withdrawal of such heinous crime cases was in public interest.
Former advocate general Madhya Pradesh RN Singh said: “A court is not obliged to accept the government’s application which is filed through prosecution, without looking into the merit of the case. Mainly, such crime cases are withdrawn which don’t relate to heinous crimes and that too which have been lingering on for a long time.”
MP BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said cases were withdrawn during the BJP regime too but those were politically motivated cases against the BJP workers and others. “But we doubt that the Congress government may try to set free even notorious criminals in the name of withdrawing politically motivated cases,” he added.
Congress doesn’t enjoy the majority in Madhya Pradesh state assembly. It has 114 MLAs, two short of the majority. It has the support of four independent, two BSP, and one SP MLAs.
(With inputs from Mahesh Shivhare in Gwalior and Agencies)
First Published: Jan 01, 2019 21:07 IST