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Remarks agaist PM Modi: Supreme Court transfers all FIRs registered against Congress leader Pawan Khera to Lucknow

The Supreme Court on Monday transferred the two First Information Reports (FIRs) registered against Congress Spokesperson Pawan Khera in Assam and Uttar Pradesh to Hazratganj Police Station in Lucknow over his alleged controversial remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

The Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud directed the petitions registered against Khera in Varanasi (UP) and at Haflong police station in Dima Hasao district (Assam) to Lucknow. It further extended the interim protection granted to Khera against arrest till April 10. 

The Apex Court granted liberty to the petitioner to apply for regular bail before the jurisdictional court.

Appearing for the States of Uttar Pradesh and Assam, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that he had no problem with the clubbing of FIRs. The FIRs should be clubbed in Assam and the Assam police should probe the case, he added.

Disagreeing with the SG, the CJI said the practice was to club it to the place where the first FIR was registered, which in this case, was in Lucknow. Therefore, the pleas should be transferred to Lucknow, he noted. 

The SG contended that the petitioner never tendered an apology and not even showed remorse. Only his lawyer, Abhishek Manu Singhvi submitted an unconditional apology..

The CJI responded that this was the practice of taking it into record. It was the Counsel who tendered an apology before the court.

The Counsel appearing for Khera sought transfer of FIRs to Delhi, saying that the incident took place in Delhi. He further sought hearing in the matter on next Monday.

The SG said that it was not an innocuous statement. It needed to be checked who was behind the statement. How could someone stoop to this level of bringing someone’s parents, he asked.

Earlier on February 23, the top court of the country had granted interim bail to the Congress spokesperson in a plea moved immediately after he was arrested by the Assam Police from the Delhi airport.

The Supreme Court had extended the interim bail on February 27 and issued notice to the states of Uttar Pradesh and Assam, directing them to file counter in the matter.

The States of Assam and Uttar Pradesh filed affidavits before the Apex Court, opposing Khera’s plea for clubbing of all three first information reports (FIRs) registered against him in the two States.

The affidavit filed by Assam government through Advocate Shuvodeep Roy said that the apology tendered by Khera’s Counsel during the hearing of the case was only a tactical one to get a favourable order, and not due to genuine remorse.

It further said that a closer look at the available audio video clearly revealed that the petitioner had mischievously uttered sentences not only with an extreme degree of irresponsibility, but reducing the level of discourse at its lowest.

The affidavit filed by the Uttar Pradesh government said that by moving the Apex Court, the Congress Spokesperson was attempting to ‘leapfrog’ the normal procedure in a criminal case under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

Khera, during a press conference, had said that if Narasimha Rao could form a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee), if Atal Bihari Vajpayee could form a JPC, then what problem did ‘Narendra Gautam Das…sorry Damodardas Modi’ had in forming a JPC? 

(Case title: Pawan Khera vs State of Assam And Ors)

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