Thursday, February 29, 2024

Supreme Court to hear plea seeking clubbing of all FIRs against Congress leader Pawan Khera on March 20

The Supreme Court will hear on March 20, an application filed by Congress leader Pawan Khera, seeking consolidation of all FIRs filed against him over his alleged controversial remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud agreed to adjourn the matter till Monday, after Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta requested for the same.

Appearing for the States of Uttar Pradesh and Assam, the SG contended that an adjournment was sought by Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Counsel for Khera.

Earlier on March 3, the Supreme Court extended the interim bail granted to Congress Spokesperson Pawan Khera, who was arrested by Assam Police from Delhi airport on February 23 over his comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

The Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice P.S. Narasimha and Justice J.B. Pardiwala was to hear the matter today, but owing to heavy load, it listed the same for hearing after the Holi break. 

The Apex Court extended the interim bail granted to Khera, after Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Congress leader, asked for the same.

The Congress leader was booked by the Uttar Pradesh and Assam Police for allegedly making remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a press conference. 

Appearing for the State of Assam, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta apprised the Apex Court that the State had filed its counter in the matter. 

CJI Chandrachud then said that the Bench was yet to receive the counter and it was not on record. 

The SG responded by saying that the counter had been filed and the petitioners have a copy of the same. It would also be filed with the Registry, he added.

Additional Advocate General Garima Prasad, appearing for Uttar Pradesh also said that she will also be filing the response in the matter.

The CJI then said that the Apex Court would renotify it after Friday and listed the matter for further hearing on March 17.

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

An affidavit filed by the 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).

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 by March 3.

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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