Updated: August 27, 2021 4:52:41 am
The Allahabad High Court on Thursday quashed the decision of the Aligarh Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) to accept the police chargesheet against suspended Gorakhpur paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan in a hate speech case.
The case for which the chargesheet was filed in the CJM court was lodged against Dr Khan in Aligarh for allegedly delivering an inflammatory speech at Aligarh Muslim University in December 2019 during the anti-CAA protests.
The court quashed the decision of the CJM court to accept the chargesheet as the prosecution sanction was not taken from the state government before filing it.
On December 13, 2019, Khan was booked by Aligarh police under IPC section 153-A (promoting enmity), and subsequently charged under IPC section 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505  (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) for allegedly giving “inflammatory speech”. He was arrested on January 29 and later charged under the stringent National Security Act (NSA) on February 13.
Accepting Dr Khan’s application under CrPC section 482, Justice Gautam Chowdhary said that in reference to the chargesheet (number 55/2020, dated March 16, 2020), the challenge to which is pending in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Aligarh, the action (to accept the chargesheet by CJM, Aligarh) is being quashed and the matter is being sent back to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Aligarh along with this order.
The High Court observed that under provisions of CrPC section 196-A, action under the said sections can only be taken against the applicant after getting prosecution sanction from the state government or Central Government or the District Magistrate.
The lawyer for Dr Khan told the High Court that an application was filed with the CJM, Aligarh court, seeking information if prosecution sanction was taken before the chargesheet was filed. “To this, the answer was given as no,” Dr Khan’s lawyers told the High Court.
Dr Khan was represented by a team of lawyers comprising senior advocates Dileep Kumar, Nazrul Islam Jafri and advocates Rajrshi Gupta and Manish Singh.
Arguing on behalf of the state, Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal and Additional Government Advocate Patanjali Mishra opposed Dr Khan’s application calling it “unsustainable”.
On September 1, the Allahabad High Court had ruled that Dr Khan’s address to students at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) during the anti-CAA protests in December 2019 was “a call for national integrity and unity”, and not “any effort to promote hatred or violence”. The High Court had also set aside the detention of Dr Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act (NSA) and ordered the UP government to release him “forthwith”.
On December 12, the UP government filed an appeal against the decision of the High Court.
On December 17, the Supreme Court had refused to interfere with the order of the Allahabad High Court dismissing charges filed against Dr Kafeel Khan under the stringent National Security Act. The apex court had dismissed the appeal moved by the Uttar Pradesh government against the High Court’s order.
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