Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court today directed the UP government to release VHP leaders Ashok Singhal, Pravin Togadia and Jagatguru Rambhadracharya in case they have been detained beyond 24 hours on apprehension of breach of peace in violation of law.
A division bench comprising Justice Imtiyaz Murtaza and Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhaya asked the state government to file a reply tomorrow on their detention. In the meantime, it said, "in case the petitioners are detained in violation of section 151 (2) of the CrPC, they shall be released forthwith."
Under this section, a person cannot be detained beyond 24 hours in case of apprehension of breach of peace unless he is not required in some other offence.
Counsel Ranjana Agnihotri moved a habeas corpus petition in the Lucknow Bench of the High Court, seeking direction to the state government to release the VHP leaders who were taken into custody yesterday when they tried to take `Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama Yatra` defying a ban.
Arguing for the petitioners, counsel H S Jain said Hindus are free to undertake the parikrama wherever they want as it is their fundamental right enshrined under the Constitution.
Jain submitted that in this light, no offence has been committed and these Hindu leaders were illegally detained, hence they should be release forthwith.
On behalf of the state government, the petition was opposed and time was sought for filing a reply.
The court asked the government to file its response by tomorrow.