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Citing Supreme Court directive, court rejects UP government’s plea to drop case against BJP MLA

Malik, an MLA from Budhana, was booked along with others under IPC sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon) and 149 (unlawful assembly), following a demonstration outside a meat factory in Muzaffarnagar in 2006.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
August 27, 2021 5:23:25 am
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had stated that cases against MPs and MLAs cannot be withdrawn without the consent of the state high court. (File)

A special court in Muzaffarnagar has rejected the Uttar Pradesh government’s plea to withdraw two cases against BJP MLA Umesh Malik, citing the Supreme Court’s direction that no prosecution against MPs and MLAs could be withdrawn without the consent of the respective state High Court.

Malik, an MLA from Budhana, was booked along with others under IPC sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon) and 149 (unlawful assembly), following a demonstration outside a meat factory in Muzaffarnagar in 2006.

“Special Judge Gopal Upadhyaya on Tuesday rejected the government’s application to withdraw two cases of Umesh Malik. The court rejected the government’s plea citing Supreme Court’s directive that cases against MPs and MLAs could not be withdrawn without the permission of state High Courts,” said Narendra Sharma, the district government counsel, adding that the two cases against Malik — filed at Shahpur and Sikhera police stations in 2001 and 2006, respectively – were related.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had stated that cases against MPs and MLAs cannot be withdrawn without the consent of the state high court.

While hearing a PIL, the Supreme court asked the High Courts “to examine the withdrawals, whether pending or disposed of since September 16, 2020, in light of the guidelines laid down by this court.”

The Supreme Court had then also asked Chief Justices of the High Courts to constitute Special Benches to monitor the progress of criminal cases against sitting and former legislators.

The court passed the order after accepting a request by senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, who was appointed amicus curiae. Hansaria pointed to instances of state withdrawing cases against legislators, under section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973.

Hansaria had told the Supreme Court that withdrawal of cases under section 321 of the CrPC is permissible in the public interest and cannot be done for political consideration.

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