The Uttar Pradesh government has refused to sanction the prosecution of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a communal riots case, Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar told the Allahabad High Court on Thursday.
Riots broke out in Gorakhpur in January 2007 allegedly after a provocative speech by Adityanath, then the local MP, over the killing of a Hindu youth in clashes between two groups during a Moharram procession.
He was arrested and jailed for 10 days before he got bail.
An affidavit stating that sanction had been “refused” for prosecuting Yogi Adityanath was filed before the court by Mr. Bhatnagar.
The sanction is needed to file a charge sheet against Yogi Adityanath under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code on the charge of promoting enmity on grounds of religion and caste. This offence is punishable with imprisonment of up to five years.
The police request to t Home Department for sanction to prosecute Yogi Adityanath and four others, including BJP MLA from Gorakhpur Radhamohan Das Agarwal, has been hanging fire for two years.
On May 7, a Division Bench of Justices Ramesh Sinha and Umesh Chandra Srivastava asked the Chief Secretary to appear in court on Thursday. In his affidavit, Mr. Bhatnagar said the CB-CID, which was investigating the case, proposed to submit its closure report, and it would be submitted to the trial court.
The development came at the hearing of a petition for an independent probe into the violence. The petition was filed by Parvez Parwaz, the complainant in the FIR filed at the Cantonment police station in Gorakhpur in connection with the riots, and Asad Hayat, a witness.