The Supreme Court was informed on Tuesday, 24 August, that the Uttar Pradesh government has withdrawn 77 cases in connection with 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots under section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), without giving any reasons.
Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, appointed amicus curiae in a 2016 petition filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking direction to fast-tracking of criminal trials against sitting and former Members of Parliament/Members of Legislative Assembly, has filed a report in the top court. He has been assisted by advocate Sneha Kalita in the matter.
A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana is scheduled to take up the petition.
'77 Cases May Be Examined by HC Using Revisional Jurisdiction'
The report said the state government has informed the amicus that 510 cases relating to Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 were registered in five districts of Meerut zone against 6,869 accused.
Out of these, in 175 cases, the charge sheet was filed, in 165 cases final reports were submitted, and 170 cases were expunged.
Thereafter 77 cases were withdrawn by the state government under Section 321 of CrPC. The Government Orders do not give any reasons for withdrawal of the case under Section 321 of CrPC. It merely states that the administration, after full consideration, has taken a decision to withdraw the particular case.Read the report submitted by the Amicus
The amicus submitted that the 77 cases may be examined by the high court by exercising revisional jurisdiction under Section 401 of CrPC, in the light of the law laid down by the top court in the case of State of Kerala vs K. Ajith 2021.
The report added that Karnataka government passed on order on 31 August 2020 granting permission for withdrawal of 62 cases. The order merely states that the government has granted permission for withdrawal without assigning any reason for the same, it said.
The amicus suggested directions that may be laid down in view of the repeated misuse of power by the state in withdrawing prosecution for political and extraneous considerations.
The appropriate government may issue instructions to the public prosecutor only if the government, in a given case, is of the opinion that the prosecution was launched maliciously and there is no foundation for prosecuting the accused.The Amicus's report states
It further added that such an order can be passed for reasons to be recorded for each individual case by the home secretary of the state concerned.
"All the cases which have been withdrawn under Section 321 CrPC after the order of this Hon'ble Court dated September 16, 2020 may be examined by the respective High Courts by exercising revisional jurisdiction under Section 401 CrPC," added the report.