LUCKNOW: The Yogi Adityanath government on December 21 ordered the withdrawal of a 1995 case in which the Chief Minister, along with Shiv Pratap Shukla (now Minister of State for Finance at the Centre), Sheetal Pandey (BJP MLA from Sahajanwa) and 10 others were booked for violating prohibitory orders.
On December 20, the state government sent a letter to the District Magistrate, Gorakhpur, directing that an application be filed to withdraw the case before the court. The government order stated that based on a letter received from the District Magistrate on October 27 and after scrutinising facts of the case, it had been decided to withdraw the case. The letter mentioned the names of Yogi Adityanath, Shiv Pratap Shukla, Sheetal Pandey and ten others.
The Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar has issued directions that all District Magistrates of the state withdraw cases under Sections 144 of the IPC 107 and 109 of the CrPC. The Chief Secretary has asked DMs to prepare a list of such cases in their respective districts and file appeals in designated courts in the light of the state government order.
Besides Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, cases against Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, UPCC Chief Raj Babbar, Leader of Opposition Ram Gobind Chaudharay and several BJP, SP, BSP and Congress MPs, MLAs, leaders and workers would be dropped.
A home department spokesperson said that the state government will also file an appeal in the Allahabad High Court requesting directions to the lower courts for withdrawal of cases against politicians in the light of Amendment into the Act.
It is, however, a different matter that crime graph in UP is on the rise even after police tightening noose around hardcore criminals. It was due to this reason, the state government had introduced UPCOCA (UP Control of Organized Crime Act) which was passed by the UP Assembly but requires assent from the Upper House.
During debate on UPCOCA, the Chief Minister had announced that his government has initiated a process to withdraw as many as 20,000 cases against politicians across party lines. He had stated that the move was aimed at reducing the pendency of cases in lower courts.
“These cases were usually petty cases registered by the police against political leaders and workers for staging a dharna and holding demonstrations. They go on in lower courts for years and need to be closed,” he had stated in UP Assembly.
The opposition has welcomed the state government’s decision. “We welcome the step but along with politicians, the state government should also withdraw cases against innocent people,” suggested Rajendra Chief Chowdhary Spokesperson, Samajwadi Party.
The former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had also withdrawn about 1800 cases against party leaders and workers during his tenure.