The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to explain why chief minister Yogi Adityanath should not be prosecuted in a case involving an alleged hate speech he had delivered before the 2007 Gorakhpur riots.
A bench of chief justice of India Dipak Misra, and justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud sent notices to the state government, its home department, and the district magistrate and superintendent of police of Gorakhpur on a petition challenging the Allahabad high court’s February 2018 decision to accept the state’s refusal to sanction the prosecution of Adityanath.
The petition was filed by Parwej Parvaz, on whose plea a magistrate’s court in Gorakhpur had in 2008 ordered the initiation of a criminal case against Adityanath and four others.
Senior advocate Aman Lekhi, on behalf of the UP government, accepted the notice to which a response will be filed within four weeks. The court will hear the matter in six weeks.
Adityanath, who was the BJP’s Gorakhpur MP in 2007, was accused of delivering provocative speeches in the city during the Muharram procession, which allegedly led to communal clashes in which one person was killed and several injured. Adityanath was arrested after the incident, but was released two days later.
In his petition filed against the February 23 high court verdict, Parvaz asked for an impartial investigation into the case.