Apex court stays HC order seekings details of cases withdrawn in UP

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed a May 7 order by Allahabad High Court seeking details of all criminal cases sought to be withdrawn against a “particular class” of citizens by the Uttar Pradesh government in the last two years.

A vacation bench of Justices A K Sikri and U U Lalit decided to examine the plea made by the Akhilesh Yadav government contending that the HC’s order had put under doubt “intention and bona fide” of the state government.

The HC’s division bench of Justices Sudhir Agrawal and Dinesh Gupta had said, “a large number of such decisions have been taken in a rampant indiscreet manner and the cases are being withdrawn against a particular class of persons throughout the state.”

The high court had asked the state government to furnish complete details of those cases – sought to be withdrawn in the last two years – by May 25.

The decision to withdraw prosecution has been a politically sensitive matter.
Earlier, the state government faced flak over its bid to withdraw terror cases against a set of accused.

Not binding
Challenging the HC’s order, Advocate General and senior advocate Vijay Bahadur Singh contended the decision of the state government was “persuasive in nature” and not binding as the final decision rested with the trial court to allow government’s application or not in this regard.

The petition filed by advocate Ravi Prakash Mehrotra stated that the state government had the power and authority to direct withdrawal of prosecution within the parameters provided under Section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The high court had questioned the government decision of February 20 after it
was pointed out that criminal case registered against Ram Narain Yadav was sought to be withdrawn following a letter to the CM, even after the public prosecutor as well as police and district authorities advised against it.

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