HC CJ suspends Magistrate who had slapped sedition charges against Jaitley

Ankit Goel, posted as Judicial Magistrate and Civil Judge at Kulpahar in Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh, has been placed under suspension 

Allahabad: A judicial officer, who had slapped sedition charges against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over four months back for his comments against Supreme Court judgement on NJAC, has been suspended and an inquiry ordered for further action.

Ankit Goel, posted as Judicial Magistrate and Civil Judge at Kulpahar in Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh, has been placed under suspension following a direction issued by Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court D Y Chandrachud, according to the High Court's Registry.

Goel has been found prima facie guilty of "indiscretion in carrying out judicial work" and an inquiry has been ordered against him for further action, it said.

Goel had, taking notice of media reports, had slapped sedition charges against Jaitley on October 19 last year for criticising SC verdict on National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) and had issued summons for his personal appearance on November 19.

Jaitley, while reacting to the SC judgement on NJAC, had said that Indian democracy could not be a "tyranny of the unelected". He had said that democracy would be in danger if the elected are undermined.

Jaitley had challenged the Magistrate's action in the High Court which quashed the proceedings on November 05, observing that the Magistrate "clearly failed to apply judicial mind, acted irresponsibly and failed to bear in mind the caution and circumspection which should have preceded his assuming jurisdiction and issuing summons".

Coming down heavily on the Magistrate, the HC had said, "....This Court is of the firm opinion that none of the ingredients essential for invoking the provisions of Sections 124A or 505 of the Penal Code stood attracted to the article in question.

"The magistrate has committed a manifest illegality in forming an opinion that an offence under the above provisions stood prima facie committed."

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