UP govt orders withdrawal of 22-year-old case against Yogi and 12 other BJP leaders

Lucknow: The UP government has ordered the withdrawal of a 1995 case in which the chief minister Yogi Adityanth, union minister of state for finance Shiv Pratap Shukla, Sheetal Pandey (BJP MLA from Sahajanwa) and 10 other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders were booked for violating prohibitory orders.

A day before the Uttar Pradesh Criminal Law (Composition of Offences and Abatement of Trials) (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was tabled in the state assembly on December 21, the state government sent a letter on December 20 to the District Magistrate, Gorakhpur, directing that an application be filed to withdraw the case before the court.

The government order stated that based on a letter received from the District Magistrate on October 27 and after scrutinising facts of the case, it had been decided to withdraw the case. The letter mentioned the names of Yogi Adityanath, Shiv Pratap Shukla, Sheetal Pandey and ten others.

A state government officer said the case under IPC section 188 was registered against Yogi Adityanath and 12 others on May 27, 1995 for holding a meeting in Jungle Kaudiya area in Pipiganj police station, despite the district administration having imposed prohibitory orders.

After the registration of the case, the district administration submitted documents and evidence in the local court for trial. Taking cognizance of the evidences, the court issued summons to all the accused. When they did not turn up after several reminders, the court issued Non-Bailable Warrant (NBW) in 2014.

A Gorakhpur district administration officer confirmed that orders for the withdrawal of the case registered for violating prohibitory orders against Yogi Adityanath and others have been received. The court was closed for the winter vacation and the application for the withdrawal of the case will be moved after the court reopened, he said.

Before presenting the Composition of Offences and Abatement of Trials (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Yogi Adityanath told the Assembly that there were about 20,000 ‘politically-motivated’ cases that had been registered in the state for mere “dharna pradarshan” (demonstrations), and for which warrants were issued, sometimes years later. He said the amendment to the law would end all such cases.

On December 22, the state assembly unanimously passed the Bill for abatement of criminal trials in 20,000 cases.