THE UTTAR Pradesh government has withdrawn 77 cases related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots without giving any reason and these “may be examined by the High Court by exercising revisional jurisdiction”, recommended a report filed in Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The recommendation was part of the report on data relating to pending cases against legislators submitted by Senior Advocate Vijay Hansaria, who was appointed to assist the court as amicus curiae in the matter.
The report said the Standing Counsel for Uttar Pradesh informed that 510 cases relating to the riots were registered in five districts of Meerut zone against 6,869 accused. Chargesheet was filed in 175 of these cases and in 165 cases, final reports were submitted and 170 cases were expunged.
“Thereafter, 77 cases were withdrawn by the state government under Section 321 of CrPC,” the report said, adding that the government orders “do not give any reasons for withdrawal” of the cases under the provision.
It “merely states that the administration after full consideration has taken a decision to withdraw the particular case”, many of which relate to offences of dacoity, the report said.
It said Karnataka too had withdrawn 62 cases without assigning any reason but the state High Court has stayed the process. Tamil Nadu has withdrawn four cases, Telangana 14 cases and Kerala 36 cases, it said.
Hearing the matter on August 10, the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana had directed that no prosecution against a sitting or former legislator shall be withdrawn without leave of the High Court.
In his report, the amicus curiae sought a direction to respective governments that they “may issue instructions to the public prosecutor [to withdraw a case] only if the government, in a given case, is of the opinion that the prosecution was launched maliciously and there is no foundation for prosecuting the accused”.
“Such an order can be passed for reasons to be recorded for each individual case by the Home Secretary of the concerned state,” the report said.