HC Quashes Criminal Proceedings Against Dr Kafeel Khan Over Anti-CAA Speech
“Long live Indian Democracy,” Dr Kafeel Khan said.
In a relief to Dr Kafeel Khan, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday, 26 August, quashed all criminal proceedings pending against him in connection with an anti-CAA/NRC speech given by him in 2019.
Following the high court order, Dr Kafeel Khan, in a statement, thanked his lawyers and dubbed the court’s decision “a big victory for the people of India”.
“Long live Indian Democracy,” Dr Kafeel Khan added.
The cognisance order of the Chef Judicial Magistrate, Aligarh has also been quashed.
A bench of Justice Gautam Chaudhary, of the Allahabad High Court, allowed Kafeel Khan’s application filed under Section 482 of the CrPC.
WHAT DID THE COURT SAY?
The court observed that before taking cognisance of the offence under IPC, “prior prosecution sanction had not been taken” by the Central government or the state government or the District Magistrate.
“It is really surprising that prosecution was not aware that for offences punishable under Chapter-VI IPC, there was/is a statutory requirement of obtaining prior sanction of Competent Authority. No efforts at all were made to obtain the same,” the court further added.
The court also said that even the Magistrate did not comply with the relevant provisions of the IPC while passing the order of cognisance.
WHAT ELSE DID DR KAFEEL KHAN SAY?
Pointing out that the court’s decision “restores our faith in judiciary”, Dr Kafeel Khan said:
"Yogi Adityanath government's high-handedness with the people of Uttar Pradesh has been completely exposed by this ruling of the Honorable Allahabad High Court.”Dr Kafeel Khan
He further expressed hope that “this brave judgment will give hope to all the pro-democracy citizens and activists languishing in jails across India”.
Previously, in September 2020, the Allahabad High Court revoked the National Security Act (NSA) charges against Dr Kafeel Khan, and directed his immediate release.
The order by a Division Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh read:
“The order of detention dated 13 February 2020 passed by district magistrate and confirmed by the state of Uttar Pradesh is set aside. The extension of the period of mention of detenue Dr Kafeel Khan is also declared illegal. A writ in the nature of habeas corpus is hereby issued to release Dr Kafeel Khan, the detente from state custody forthwith.”
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