Court reserves order on U.P. government’s plea for withdrawal of criminal proceedings against BJP MP

The case pertains to damaging public property and causing injuries to police personnel during an agitation in 2015

A special MP-MLA court here on Saturday reserved its order on an application by the Uttar Pradesh government seeking withdrawal of criminal proceedings involving BJP MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi and 17 Congress leaders.

The judge, PK Rai, heard arguments of the prosecution and the defence side and set February 20 for delivering its order.

The case pertains to damaging public property and causing injuries to police personnel during an agitation in 2015. A sub inspector, Pyarelal Prajapti, had lodged FIR at the Hazratganj police station here on August 17, 2015.

The Congress leaders named in the FIR include Raj Babbar, Pradeep Jain, Aditya, Ajai Rai, Nirmal Khatri, Rajesh Pati Tripathi and Madhusudan Mistri. Ms Bahuguna Joshi was also a member of the Congress at that time. She joined the BJP in 2016.

According to the FIR, the Congress leaders were agitating at the Laxman Mela ground here on the day. All the accused, with about 5,000 party workers, started a march towards Vidhan Sabha. The police and administration tried to stop them but they did not desist and started stone pelting, causing a stampede.

Several policemen and PAC personnel received injuries in the incident and even members of the public got injured. It disturbed the law and order situation in the area, the FIR stated. After the probe, the police had submitted a chargesheet against 18 accused persons under various offences of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Criminal Law Amendment Act. Moving the application for withdrawal, the government counsel had argued that the State government did not want to pursue the case in public interest and hence wanted to withdraw it.

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