SC Notice to UP Govt For Protecting CM Adityanath From Prosecution for Hate Speech
The Supreme Court of India has put Uttar Pradesh government on notice in response to a Special Leave Petition under Article 136 of the Constitution of India — challenging the judgment of the Allahabad High Court, in the case of Parvez Parwaz & Anr. v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors.
Previously, the High Court had upheld the UP government’s refusal to grant sanction to prosecute the now state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the hate speech crimes he committed in 2007, when he was an MP from Gorakhpur, UP.
On February 22, 2018, the HC had also refused to transfer the investigation from the State CID to an independent investigative agency.
The SLP filed by Advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi, claims that the Allahabad High Court misdirected itself and dismissed the prayers of the Petitioners despite compelling facts and circumstances of the case, as well as a lack of due appreciation of the evidence and law.
The accused — the current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, addressed a meeting in 2007 saying that if the blood of one Hindu was shed, then the response would not be to register an F.I.R., but rather get ten Muslims killed. The petitioner’s attempt to file an FIR failed, as the police refused to register the same.
Senior Advocate Indira Jaising appeared for the petitioner. The question posed before the Supreme Court was whether the Allahabad High Court had ignored the fact that Principal Secretary (Home) who refused sanction to prosecute Yogi Adityanath was directly reporting to the Minister in-charge of the Home Department, UP — in this the case CM Adityanath who holds the additional portfolio of the home department of UP.
Further, the Court was also confronted with dealing with an inflammatory speech made by the accused in an interview to a private media channel, Aap Ki Adalat, which may account to an extra-judicial confession of sorts.
The grounds for eventually granting the Special Leave to the Appeal was primarily based on the principle of Nemo Judex in Propria Causa Sua, which is a maxim upholding natural justice to prevent bias by “prohibiting a man from being a judge in his own case”. Several case laws were cited in the regard, for example the case of A. K. Kraipak v. Union of India, which stated that, “a third rule has been envisaged… quasi-judicial enquiries must be held in good faith, without bias…enquiries which were considered administrative at one time, are now considered as quasi-judicial…an unjust decision in an administrative enquiry may have a more far-reaching effect than a decision in a quasi-judicial enquiry.”
Further, it was noted that the High Court denied the possibility that the decision taken by the secretarial officer of the Government was the same person as the one adversely affected by the grant of sanction for prosecution.