The Uttar Pradesh government has refused to grant sanction for the prosecution of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a decade-old communal riots case, the Allahabad High Court was informed today.
The case is related to the Gorakhpur riots of 2007, when Yogi Adityanath was the local MP.
An affidavit stating that sanction has been "refused" for prosecuting Adityanath in the case was filed before the court by Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar.
The chief secretary had been asked to appear in person by an order dated May 7 by a division bench comprising justices Ramesh Sinha and Umesh Chandra Srivastava.
In his affidavit, Bhatnagar also stated that the CB-CID, which has been investigating the case registered in connection with the riots, has proposed to submit its closure report and it will be submitted before the trial court.
"We challenged the state government's stand and submitted before the court that the chief secretary happens to be a subordinate of the chief minister, who is himself an accused. The refusal to grant sanction tantamount to an accused declining to prosecute himself, which has no parallel in the world," the petitioners' counsel S F A Naqvi told PTI.
He said "we also pointed out that Yogi Adityanath has himself, in an interview to a private news channel, which is available on YouTube, admitted to having made the incendiary speeches for which he has been named in the FIR lodged at Gorakhpur. We requested that the court summon the video recording to get a first-hand impression."
"The court responded to our submission by asking the state government to file an affidavit on the next date of hearing explaining why a recording of the said interview not be submitted," Naqvi said.
"We also sought permission to file an application challenging the state government's order refusing to the grant sanction for prosecuting Yogi Adityanath. The court gave permission to do so by the next date of hearing on July 7," the counsel added.
The petition was filed by Parvez Parwaz, the complainant in the FIR lodged in connection with the riots at Cantt police station of Gorakhpur; and Asad Hayat, a witness in the case in which the then city Mayor Anju Chaudhary and BJP MLA Radha Mohan Das Agrawal have also been named as accused.
Yogi Adityanath made a provocative speech in front of a railway station in Gorakhpuron January 27, 2007, which led to riots in the city, the petitioners have alleged.
The petitioners have moved the high court seeking an investigation into the case by an independent agency.
(With PTI inputs)