‘U.P govt. withdrew 77 Muzaffarnagar riot cases without providing reasons’: report informs SC

On August 10, the top court had curtailed the power of state prosecutors and ordered that they cannot withdraw prosecution against the lawmakers under the Code of Criminal Procedure without prior sanction from high courts.   | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

Seventy-seven cases relating to the Muzaffarnagar communal riots were withdrawn by the Uttar Pradesh government without assigning any reasons, a report alerted the Supreme Court.

“The government orders do not give any reasons for withdrawal of the case under Section 321 of Code of Criminal Procedure. They merely state that the administration, after full consideration, has taken a decision to withdraw the particular case. Many such cases relate to offences of dacoity punishable with imprisonment for life,” the apex court’s amicus curiae, senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, assisted by advocate Sneha Kalita, said in a report on Tuesday.

Mr. Hansaria said the information is part of a letter sent to him by the Uttar Pradesh State counsel on August 20.

The letter said 510 cases relating to the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 were registered in five districts of the Meerut zone against 6,869 accused. Of this, charge-sheets were filed in 175 cases, final reports were submitted in 165 cases, and 170 cases were “expunged”.

“Thereafter, 77 cases were withdrawn by the State Government under Section 321 of the CrPC,” Mr. Hansaria informed the apex court in the report.

The amicus curiae urged the Supreme Court to have the Allahabad High Court examine the withdrawal of these 77 cases by the State government.

Mr. Hansaria recalled that the Supreme Court, on August 10, had specifically ordered that no prosecution against sitting or former legislators should be withdrawn without the permission of the High Court.

“Withdrawal from prosecution is permissible in public interest and cannot be done for political consideration. Such application can be made in good faith, in the interest of public policy and justice and not to thwart or stifle the process of law,” the report said.

Similarly, the amicus curiae pointed out that the Karnataka government had withdrawn 62 cases without assigning any reason, Tamil Nadu had withdrawn four cases, Telangana had withdrawn 14 cases, and Kerala had withdrawn 36 cases.

The report also noted that a total of 51 MPs and ex-MPs, and 71 MLAs/MLCs of different States are accused in cases arising out of offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

As far as Central Bureau of Investigation cases were concerned, the amicus curiae said that out of a total 121 cases pending trial before Special Courts, as many as 58 cases are punishable with life imprisonment. In 45 cases, even the charges had not been framed, though the offences are alleged to have been committed several years back.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 5:25:15 PM |

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