April 13, 2021 1:36:14 am
The defence counsel of the accused who are facing charges of sedition along with journalist Siddique Kappan on Monday filed an application in a Mathura court, seeking direction to drop all the proceedings in absence of prosecution sanction against them.
This comes more than a week after the Special Task Force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh Police filed a chargesheet against Kappan and others – Atiq-ur-Rahman, Masood Ahmed, Alam, K A Rauf Sharif, Mohammad Danish, Ansad Badruddin and Firoz Khan — accusing them of sedition and conspiring to incite caste violence in the aftermath of the gangrape and murder of a Dalit woman in Hathras.
They have been charged under IPC Sections 124-A (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, etc), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Information Technology Act.
“In an application filed today, we informed the court that the STF had filed photocopy of the prosecution sanction obtained under IPC section 124-A, 153-A, 295-A and 120-B. The photocopy is not admissible in court. Therefore, we requested the court to drop all proceedings against the accused,” said defence counsel, Madhuvan Dutt Chaturvedi.
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He added that they have also brought to the court’s notice that the prosecution sanction under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was not obtained by the agency from the state.
The court has issued a notice to the STF and listed April 15 as the next date for hearing in the case.
Meanwhile, government counsel Suryavir Singh said, “On April 3 (the day the chargesheet was filed), it was getting late. So, the investigative agency filed a photocopy of the prosecution sanction order obtained from the state government. I will soon get the original copy of the prosecution sanction and submit it to the court. The state government order also contains sanction under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act apart from 124-A, 153-A, 295-A and 120-B.”
On October 4 last year, Mathura police had held Kappan, Atiq, Masood and Alam at Maant toll plaza while they were on their way to meet the family of a 19-year-old Dalit girl, who was allegedly gangraped and murder, in Hathras.
Police lodged a case against them accusing them of being “a part of a large conspiracy”.
Police also claimed to have recovered six cellphones and a laptop from their possession. Alam owned the car in which the four were travelling.
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