The Uttar Pradesh government suffered a jolt when a Barabanki court rejected its plea to withdraw cases against the two alleged Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) operatives.
Special Sessions Judge Kalpana Mishra on Friday rejected the application moved by the Akhilesh Yadav government on April 24 to withdraw cases against Tariq Kasmi and Khalid Mujahid, accused in the 2007 Gorakhpur bomb blasts, which left six injured.
While the State argued that the withdrawal of cases was in “public interest and for the sake of communal harmony,” the court took it to task for submitting faulty and incomplete papers.
The court noted that the government did not file an affidavit with the application. The government had not detailed how the withdrawal of cases was in public interest and necessary for communal harmony.
The government has decided to challenge the Barabanki court’s decision, ignoring the criticism of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
In its election manifesto, the Samajwadi Party had promised to release innocent youths falsely lodged in jail on terror charges and punish the officials who implicated them.
According to a senior lawyer of the Allahabad High Court, if the State really intends to withdraw cases through a legal procedure, it would have to evoke Section 173(8) of the Cr. PC (dealing with further investigation) — based on witness accounts and findings of the Nimish Commission Report — and submit the report to the court.
Instead, the U.P. government filed an application under Section 321(which deals only with withdrawal of prosecution), and that too with incomplete documents, making it easy for the court to reject it.
Recently, the Allahabad High court slammed the State for seeking to withdraw cases against two suspects of 2006 Varanasi serial blasts.
Further, the government is under the scanner for not making public the findings of the Nimesh Commission, which submitted its report in August 2012. The commission was constituted by the Bahujan Samaj Party government in 2008 to probe the arrests of Haqeem Tariq of Azamgarh and Khalid Mujahid of Jaunpur in court serial blasts cases after outcry over the role of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS).
As per procedure, the report should have been tabled in the House within six months of its filing. However, it is yet to be made public.
The report, which has been leaked to the media, describes the arrests as suspicious, calling for possible criminal proceedings against security personnel concerned.
Reacting to the court verdict, Muslim organisations and activists have questioned the State’s intentions.
Rihai Manch, a Lucknow-based forum for release of innocent youth implicated in terror cases, has slammed the Akhilesh government for “misleading” Muslims by giving “fake promises.”
“Only by expediting the cases and calling for reinvestigation can justice be done. By repeatedly saying that they will release innocent youth, the party [SP] is only misleading the people. Without any legal basis they are making false claims,” said Manch spokesman Rajeev Yadav.
The SP government came to power with 39 per cent Muslim vote.
On Saturday, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said the State would seriously work for implementing the Sachar Committee Report and include Muslims in development schemes.