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Hate Speech: Allahabad High Court dismisses plea by ex-Governor of Uttarakhand seeking quashing of FIR against him

The Allahabad High Court has dismissed as withdrawn, a petition filed by former Uttarakhand Governor Dr Aziz Qureshi challenging the FIR registered against him for indulging in hate speech.

The Division Bench of Justice Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Justice Ajay Tyagi passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Dr Aziz Qureshi.

The Court was not inclined to entertain the writ petition in the light of the judgments of the Apex Court in the case of State of UP Vs Akhil Sharda, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 820 and M/S Niharika Infrastructure (P) Ltd Vs State of Maharashtra, AIR 2021 SC 1918.

The Senior Advocate appearing for the petitioner sought time to go through the aforesaid judgments.

On December 14, the A.A.G submitted that the Government does not immediately want to arrest the petitioner and they would wait for the FSL report and if there is credible evidence, they would do the needful. If the petitioner till then apprehends his arrest, there is a provision for getting anticipatory bail now in UP also and he may apply for it before the competent court, which is his right.

The Court recorded the aforesaid statement made by the A.A.G and placed on record the instructions given to him by the concerned SHO, who is the Investigating Officer.

A.A.G said that it is mutually agreed that the State would abide by the provisions of Section 41-A of CrPC and the petitioner would also abide by the same.

“We dispose of this petition as having been withdrawn at this stage. Accordingly, the writ petition is disposed of as withdrawn”, the Court ordered.

In this matter, Present MLA Akash Saxena had filed a case of hate speech against Aziz Qureshi at the Civil Lines police station in Rampur.

On September 5, 2021, an FIR was lodged under Sections 153 A, 153 B, 124 A, 502 B of the IPC. Aziz Qureshi had compared the Yogi government with the devil. He had described the government action against SP leader Azam Khan as a fight between the man and the devil. The case against Qureshi claimed that the former Governor hurt people’s sentiments by his statement.

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