Gorakhpur riots: Can trial go on if govt rejected sanction to prosecute, asks HC
The government’s counsel argued that the petition should be dismissed because police concluded the investigation in April 2015 and their report cleared the accused.Updated: Jul 28, 2017 19:47 IST
The Allahabad high court sought to know on Friday during a hearing on the 2007 Gorakhpur riots if a judicial magistrate could proceed with a trial after the state government rejected its sanction to prosecute the accused people.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath is among the accused.
A man was killed and several people were wounded in Gorakhpur after Adityanath, who was then a BJP parliamentarian, allegedly made a provocative speech outside the town’s railway station.
The politician, who is also the chief priest of Gorakhnath shrine, was reacting to the fatal stabbing of Raj Kumar Agrahri after clashes broke out between Hindus and Muslims during a Moharram procession.
The court’s query came after the government’s counsel argued that the petition should be dismissed because police concluded the investigation in April 2015 and their report cleared the accused.
Thereafter, the government refused to allow any prosecution against the litigant.
If the petitioners are unhappy with the police report, they could file objections before the magistrate hearing the case, the counsel said.
“Petitioners cannot approach the high court under Article 226 of the Constitution, which allows filing of a writ petition if no alternative remedy is available to an aggrieved person,” he said.
Petitioners Parvez Parwaz and Asad Hayat had requested the high court to the transfer the investigation to an independent agency, fearing that the state police might not be impartial in the probe.
Hearing the counsel’s argument, the division bench of Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Akhilesh Chandra Sharma asked: “If sanction for prosecution is refused by the state government, can a judicial magistrate proceed in the case applying his judicial mind on the objections filed before him?”
It had another query. “If sanction is refused and magistrate cannot proceed then what remedy is left for aggrieved person?”
The government counsel then pleaded for time to respond to the question. The court fixed July 31 for the final hearing.
The case is based on a police FIR registered in 2008 in Gorakhpur against Adityanath, then city mayor Anju Chaudhri, then legislator Radha Mohan Agarwal and one more person.
First Published: Jul 28, 2017 18:35 IST