Yogi Adithyanath Hate Speech Case: Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal Challenging High Court’s Order Upholding UP Government’s refusal to allow sanction to Prosecution

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The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal challenging the High Court’s order upholding UP Government’s refusal to allow sanction to prosecution.

Court Observation 

The three judge bench of Justice N.V. Ramana, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice C.T. Ravikumar said that the words “No Court shall take cognizance” employed in Section 196 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the consequential bar created under the said provision would undoubtedly show that the bar is against ‘taking of cognizance by the Court’.

The court further stated that it creates no bar against registration of a crime or investigation by the police agency or submission of a report by the police on completion of investigation as contemplated under Section 173, CrPC.  

The court observed that the forensic report of the CD which forms the basis of the prosecution was found to be tampered and edited.  

Background 

The appeal by special leave is directed against the judgment and order passed by the High Court of Judicature Allahabad. The unsuccessful petitioners are the appellants. At the instance of the first appellant, for having made (allegedly) a hate speech that led to the incidents described as ‘2007 Gorakhpur Riots’ and for such other offences related to the same, Crime was registered against Yogi Adityanath, who was then a Member of Parliament and some others. After registration of FIR, the State Government directed investigation by the Crime Branch, Criminal Investigation Department (CB CID) of UP Police. Raising grievances against the investigation, the appellants filed the Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. 

Arguments 

Advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi, appearing for the appellants, advanced his arguments in relation to denial of sanction for prosecution of the accused under Section 196 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. 

He contended that the accused, who was then a Member of Parliament and had allegedly made a hate speech, had later on became the Chief Minister of the State of Uttar Pradesh and thereby, the Executive Head of the State. In such a situation, it is the Governor of the State who is empowered to consider the question of grant of sanction in terms of the Rules of Business. 

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the State, contended that nothing survives in the matter except for a mere academic exercise, as a closure report has already been filed by the investigating agency. 

He further submitted that the judgment of the Court in M.P. Special Police Establishment does not have any relevance in the facts of the case as the underlying material did not amount to anything, let alone establish a case for issuance of sanction.

Decision 

The court did not think it necessary to go into the contentions raised by both sides on the issue of denial of sanction for prosecution and the legal pleas sought to be raised in relation to the said issue. 

The court while dismissing the appeal thought it appropriate that the legal questions on the issue of sanction be left open to be considered in an appropriate case. 

Case title: Parvez Parwaz & Anr. v/s State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors. 

Citation: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1343 OF 2022

Click here to read the Order/Judgment 

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