SC directive to Magistrate in riot case against Adityanath

The Supreme Court has directed the Magistrate who is taking cognisance of a criminal case against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to record his reasons specifically in case he decides to commence trial proceedings.

The allegation against Mr. Adityanath is that the 2007 Gorakhpur riots were caused by the Hindu Yuva Vahini which was provoked by him.

Mr. Adityanath was an MP then.

A Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud referred to a three-judge Bench judgment in the Sunil Bharti Mittal case to quote that a trial court should form an opinion “only after due application of mind that there is sufficient basis for proceeding against the accused and formation of such an opinion is to be stated in the order itself”.

The Bench, in its order on September 11, quoted that an “order is liable to be set aside if no reason is given therein while coming to the conclusion that there is prima facie case against the accused”.

The Bench recorded that the Allahabad High Court has remitted the matter to the Magistrate in Gorakhpur, who has to pass “appropriate orders” keeping in view the law laid down in the Mittal judgment.

The FIR pertains to the occasion of Satvi Moharram on January 27, 2007, when riots broke out in Gorkhpur.

The police had to fire several rounds to disperse the mob.

The FIR was lodged on charges of rioting, outraging religious feelings, trespassing on burial places and promoting enmity between groups.

On completion of the investigation, a chargesheet was filed on June 14, 2007 and cognisance was taken by the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM).

The CJM’s order of cognisance was challenged in the Sessions Court, which set it aside in 2017 and ordered the Magistrate to pass a fresh order of cognisance.

The Allahabad High Court upheld the Sessions Court’s decision and observed in its order that the CJM should “by way of abundant caution” decide the matter afresh “strictly in accordance with law and in the exercise of his unfettered independent discretion.”

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 5:56:34 AM |

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