In hate speech case, Yogi govt de­nies sanc­tion

The Indian Express - - THE SECOND PAGE -

res­i­dence, lan­guage, etc., and do­ing acts prej­u­di­cial to main­te­nance of har­mony — was re­fused be­cause the CD, which was pre­sented as the main ev­i­dence, had been “tam­pered” with. The gov­ern­ment said this con­clu­sion was reached by the Cen­tral Foren­sic Sci­ence Lab­o­ra­tory in Oc­to­ber 2014.

Ad­vo­cate Gen­eral Raghven­dra Singh later said: “It has been sub­mit­ted be­fore the court that the or­der for sanc­tion has been re­fused be­cause in Oc­to­ber 2014 it­self the re­port by the CFSL had found that the CD, which was the main ev­i­dence in the case, was tam­pered. Even be­fore this gov­ern­ment was formed, the Le­gal Re­mem­brancer had sought this (CFSL) re­port on Oc­to­ber 18, 2016.”

Asked about the trans­fer of the case to some other agency as sought by the pe­ti­tioner’s coun­sel, Singh said, “The in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been com­pleted and the main ev­i­dence, the CD, has been found to have been tam­pered with. So what else re­mains in the case to be trans­ferred?”

Naqvi, coun­sel for the pe­ti­tioner, said, “Our main pe­ti­tion was to trans­fer the case from the state po­lice to some in­de­pen­dent cen­tral agency and to take ac­tion against the per­son who did not fa­cil­i­tate lodg­ing of the FIR in the ini­tial stage. As per di­rec­tion of the court, we will now file an amend­ment ap­pli­ca­tion.”

The in­ci­dent dates back to Jan­uary 27, 2007, a day af­ter one Raj Ku­mar Agra­hari was in­jured — and later died — in a clash be­tween two groups dur­ing a Muhar­ram pro­ces­sion.

Parvez Par­vaz, a for­mer Go­rakh­pur jour­nal­ist and ac­tivist, tried to lodge an FIR but the po­lice turned him away. It was only af­ter in­ter­ven­tion of the High Court — on Septem­ber 26, 2008 — that he was able to file an FIR at the Can­ton­ment po­lice sta­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the FIR, Adityanath de­liv­ered speeches, al­legedly seek­ing “re­venge” for the death of the Hindu youth in the clash. Par­vaz claimed to have videos of these speeches.

On July 10, 2015, the Crime Branchcrim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Depart­ment (CBCID) of the UP Po­lice sought sanc­tion for pros­e­cu­tion from the Akhilesh Ya­dav gov­ern­ment against Adityanath, then an MP, for­mer MLC Y D Singh, MLA Radha Mo­han Das Agar­wal, for­mer BJP Mayor Anju Chaud­hary and for­mer min­is­ter Shiv Pratap Shukla.

In its af­fi­davit filed in court, the gov­ern­ment said the re­port of the CFSL, dated Oc­to­ber 13, 2014, found that videos in the DVD were not orig­i­nal and had been “edited and tam­pered”. It also men­tioned that voice sam­ples were not di­rectly taken from Adityanath. It said the sam­ples were taken by the Pipraich sta­tion in-charge from some other speech of Adityanath.

Par­vaz said he was hope­ful that jus­tice would be done. “I want to ask them why are they afraid of in­ves­ti­ga­tion. For the past 10 years, af­fi­davits and counter af­fi­davits were filed, men­tion­ing the CD. But now the gov­ern­ment says the same CD is ques­tion­able,” he said.

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