Citing procedural discrepancies, the local court here on Thursday refused to take cognizance of the chargesheet filed by the Muzaffarnagar police against BJP president Amit Shah on Wednesday for his alleged “hate speech” during the Lok Sabha poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Sunder Lal said the police had failed to follow provisions of Section 172 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as it had not attempted to arrest the accused before filing the chargesheet.
The court noted that the police did not seek either a warrant or attachment proceedings against the accused under the provisions laid down under Section 173(2). It was also pointed out that the case required a private complaint by the officer who had imposed the prohibitory orders that were allegedly violated by Shah.
Confirming that the chargesheet had been returned, Muzaffarngar SSP H N Singh said, “We are looking at the comments of the court. We will take appropriate action after analysing the observations made.”
The Muzaffarnagar police on Wednesday had filed a chargesheet against Shah under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, etc.), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class) and 505 (false statement, rumour, etc. circulated with intent to cause mutiny or offence against the public peace), and Section 123-3 of the Representation of the People Act (making an appeal to vote on the grounds of religion amounting to corrupt practice).
Addressing a meeting of Jat leaders in the area in April, Shah is reported to have said — in a reference to the Muzaffarnagar riots — that “this election is about voting out the government that protects and gives compensation to those who killed Jats… It is about badla (revenge) and protecting izzat (honour).”
The next day, at another meeting in Muzaffarnagar, he is reported to have said, “A man can live without food or sleep. He can live when he’s thirsty and hungry. But when he’s insulted, he can’t live. Apmaan ka badla toh lena padega (We have to take revenge for the insult).”