The Supreme Court was on Wednesday informed that the Uttar Pradesh’s saffron party led government has withdrawn 77 criminal cases, pertaining to the 2013 Muzzafarnagar anti-Muslim violence, without assigning any reasons.
Some of these cases pertained to offences punishable with a life term, according to Live Law.
Sources in UP said many of the 77 cases were lodged against BJP politicians and their associates. Earlier, the names of at least two ministers and an MLA figured among those who stand to benefit from the withdrawals.
The development comes in the case concerning speedy disposal of cases against BJP MLAs, filed by Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay.
“77 cases were withdrawn by the State Government under section 321 of Cr.P.C. The Government Orders do not give any reasons for withdrawal of the case under section 321 of Cr.P.C,” Amicus curiae Senior Advocate Vijay Hansaria filed a report before Court.
Hansaria also highlighted that many of such cases relate to offences of dacoity under section 397 I.P.C. punishable with imprisonment for life.
According to Hansaria’s report, 510 criminal cases were registered in relation to the Muzaffarnagar violence of 2013. Of these, in 175 cases the charge sheet was filed, in 165 cases final reports were submitted, 170 cases were expunged.
Live Law reported that the amicus suggested that the said 77 cases may be examined by the High Court by exercising “revisional jurisdiction” under section 401 of Cr.P.C. in the light of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in State of Kerala v. K. Ajith. In this case, the Supreme Court has directed that no prosecution against sitting or former MPs and MLAs will be withdrawn without the permission of the High Court of the concerned state.
In December last year, Yogi government had drawn up a list of Hindu nationalist leaders against whom cases were being withdrawn. The list included three BJP MLAs — Sangeet Som, Suresh Rana, Kapil Dev – and Hindutva leader Sadhvi Prachi.