Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Allahabad High Court dismisses petition against CM Yogi Adityanath

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The Allahabad High Court dismissed the petition filed against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seeking registration of a complaint.

A Single Bench of Justice Samit Gopal passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Naval Kishor Sharma.

The petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India has been filed by Naval Kishor Sharma, S/o Deonath Sharma with the following prayers:-

“It is therefore most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to set aside the judgement and order dated 26.4.2022 passed by Sessions Judge, Mau in Criminal Revision No 54 of 2022, Nawal Kishor Sharma Versus State of U.P as well as judgement and order dated 11.03.2022 passed by Civil Judge (S.D.)/Addl Chief Judicial Magistrate/M.P MLA Court, Mau in Misc Case No.128 of 2019, Nawal Kishore Sharma Vs Ajay Singh Vishtha @ Yogi Adityanath. Otherwise the petitioner would suffer with irreparable loss.

It is further prayed that the court below may be directed to register a complaint case against respondent no 2 and hear the matter accordingly.

Or may pass any such further order or direction which the Court may deem fit and proper under the circumstances of the case.”

The facts of the case are that a complaint dated 11.1.2019 was filed by the petitioner against Ajay Singh Bist alias Yogi Adityanath for offences under Section 295 (A), 298, 419, 420, 501 IPC, Police Station Dohrighat, District Mau titled as Naval Kishor Sharma Versus Ajay Singh Bist alias Yogi Adityanath mentioning therein the date of occurrence as 28.11.2018, the names and addresses of the witnesses as Naval Kishor (complainant), Yugal Kishore Sharma, S/o Devnath Sharma, Santosh Prajapati, S/o Sidhari Prajapati and other witnesses and record keeper Superintendent Police, Mau alleging therein that the respondent accused is a Mahant of Goraksha Peeth, Gorakhnath, Police Station Gorakhnath and at present the Chief Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh.

On 28.11.2018, he addressed a public meeting with regards to general Vidhan Sabha Elections in Malakheda, Alwar (Rajasthan) in which he stated certain words for Lord Bajrangbali due to which the religious sentiments of the public who are followers of Sri Bajrangbali have been hurt.

The respondent, knowing that his speech will cause hurt to the sentiments of a specific group of people has stated about it in his general public meeting. He has also caused disrepute to his position as Chief Minister which is a constitutional post and has also not followed the circular issued by the Election Commission, Government of India.

The said acts have been done by him for benefits in a wrongful manner to his party in elections and also to separate two groups of persons so that they may start hating each other and may fight.

The said fact has been read by the complainant and other persons in daily newspapers due to which the religious sentiments of other persons also got hurt. A legal notice dated 30.11.2018 was sent by the complainant but despite service of notice calling upon the respondent to tender apology to the public in writing and orally, he did not do it and by taking law in his hands the presiding deity of the complainant has been humiliated and to cause gain to his political party, humiliated Lord Bajrangbali in a public meeting. The faith of the complainant has been hurt.

The complainant tried to lodge a report at the local police station and also gave a report to the Superintendent of Police, Mau on 1.1.2019 but no action has been taken and hence he has filed the present complaint. He prays that after taking the evidence, the accused be punished for offences under Section 295 (A), 298, 419, 420, 501 IPC.

In support of the complaint, the complainant was examined under Section 200 CrPC wherein he reiterated the version of the complaint. Under Section 202 CrPC Yugal Kishore Sharma, S/o Devnath Sharma was examined and Anoop Kumar Yadav, S/o Rajendra Yadav was examined.

The complaint as filed was numbered as Criminal Complaint Case, Naval Kishor Sharma Versus Ajay Singh Bist alias Yogi Adityanath.

The order dated 11.03.2022 passed by the Civil Judge (Senior Division)/Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, M.P/MLA, Mau the said complaint was dismissed under Section 203 CrPC with the observation that the court has no territorial jurisdiction to entertain the same. Against the said order dated 11.03.2022 the complainant/petitioner filed a criminal revision before the Sessions Judge, Mau which was numbered as Criminal Revision, Naval Kishor Sharma Versus State of U.P and another. The said revision was also dismissed vide judgement and order dated 26.04.2022 passed by the Sessions Judge, Mau.

The petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India has thus been filed before the Court.

Counsel for the petitioner argued that:-

1) The hate speech was a deliberate intention in the general rally during the election campaign. The opposite party no 2 (Yogi Adityanath) was in his knowledge that it would cause turmoil and agitation throughout the country.

2) Due to the deliberate speech against Lord Bajrangbali, crores of his followers were pained.

3) The words used against Lord Bajrangbali were to impress people of reserved constituencies.

4) The hate speech was read by the petitioner which hurt his religious sentiments and thus he pursued the remedy available under law.

5) This is not the first incident by the opposite party no 2 but is a repeated incident by a person holding a prestigious and constitutional post.

6) The complaint is maintainable in view of Section 179 CrPC which states that the offence may be inquired into or tried by a court within whose local jurisdiction such thing has been done or such consequence has ensued and in the matter the consequence has ensued being the petitioner reading the said newspaper which has hurt his religious feelings.

Additional Advocate General for the State of UP vehemently opposed the petition and the arguments of the counsel for the petitioner.

State counsel argued that the opposite party no 2 in the petition who has been arrayed as the accused in the complaint is a nonexistent person. A person who has renounced the world and has entered into the Sanyasi world and has become a Yogi cannot be called by any other name except for the name which he has adopted after becoming a Yogi.

It is further argued that the complaint states a non-existent person as the accused and even the same person has been made as a respondent no 2 in the petition. The complaint is totally silent as much as where and when the complainant reads the newspaper. The complainant has not even stated that he was a subscriber to the said newspaper. It is also not stated either in the complaint or in his statement that the said newspaper was having any circulation in his area.

It is also argued that the newspaper is the foundation of creation of territorial jurisdiction in the matter. The description about the same is totally missing.

The Court observed that,

After having heard counsels for the parties and perusing the records, the facts which emerge out are that the petitioner herein had filed a complaint dated 11.1.2019 against the opposite party no 2 for offences under Section 295 (A), 298, 419, 420, 501 IPC for an incident which is said to have taken place on 28.11.2018 in Malakheda, District Alwar (Rajasthan).

The complaint has been filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mau, District Mau by the petitioner who is a resident of Mau for attracting territorial jurisdiction there. The complainant states that he and other persons have read in daily newspaper a news item relating to a hate speech given by the accused in Malakheda, District Alwar (Rajasthan) on 28.11.2018 by which words being derogatory in nature against Lord Bajrangbali were used which has hurt his religious sentiments. It is relevant to state here that it is stated that the said speech was addressed in a public meeting of general Vidhan Sabha Elections at the said place.

“Thus looking to the facts and circumstances of the case, the legal pronouncements as enumerated above, this Court comes to the conclusion that the Court at Mau had no territorial jurisdiction to entertain the said complaint. The dismissal of the same vide order dated 11.03.2022 under Section 203 CrPC is just and proper. Further the dismissal of the revision vide judgment and order dated 26.04.2022 (wherein the order dated 11.03.2022 was challenged) is also without any illegality, irregularity and perversity”, the Court further observed while dismissing the petition.

“The complainant/petitioner is an Advocate by profession as has been declared by him in the affidavit given in the petition before the Court. Even in the alleged legal notice dated 07.01.2019 sent by him, the supplementary affidavit dated 07.09.2022 in the bottom at the place of his signature he has disclosed himself to be an Advocate. He has clearly abused the process of law. In these circumstances, this Court imposes a token cost of Rs 5,000/- on him to be paid within 30 days from today in the Mediation and Conciliation Centre of the Court for utilization therein”, the order reads.

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