Approach Allahabad HC: SC on Cong leader's bail plea

Approach Allahabad HC: SC on Cong leader's bail plea

Credit: PTI Photo

The Supreme Court Thursday asked two minor children who sought release of their father -- a Congress leader -- arrested in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly "questioning the methodology" of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in handling COVID-19 pandemic at a press conference held purportedly without permission, to approach the Allahabad High Court for relief.

The minor children of Congress leader Sachin Choudhary, who is in judicial custody in connection with an FIR lodged by Amroha Police on April 11, approached the apex court through their mother.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justice Aniruddha Bose, which heard the matter through through video-conferencing, suggested senior advocate Salman Khurshid, who was appearing for the minors, to move the high court for the relief in the case in which the FIR was lodged for various offences including sedition.

 Khurshid said he would withdraw the plea with liberty to approach the high court.

"Accordingly, the writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn with the liberty aforesaid. We request the high court to deal with the matter expeditiously in accordance with law," the bench said in its order.

The two minors, aged two and seven respectively, had said in their plea that their father had served food and other necessary items to migrant labourers, who had left for their native places due to nationwide lockdown from March 25, near the Delhi-Moradabad highway.

The minors, who had approached the apex court through their mother, had claimed that police had lodged an FIR against their father for "holding a press conference highlighting the infirmities in the measures taken by the state" and he was later sent to judicial custody.

"Father of the petitioner is affiliated to Congress party, the chief opponent of the ruling party and due to vendetta and political vengeance, he has been arrested and the registration of the FIR is stage managed," the plea, filed through advocate Smarhar Singh, had alleged.

The petition had further alleged that Choudhary "was detained for holding a press conference and questioning the methodology of the chief minister of the state in handling the epidemic i.e. Corona".

It had claimed that even if the allegations levelled in the FIR are presumed to be true, no offence under sections 124-A (sedition) and 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the IPC was made out against him.