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Communal Remarks Against Aligarh Muslim University: Allahabad HC Dismisses Plea By Hindu Mahasabha Leader For Quashing FIR And Stay Of Arrest

Nupur Thapliyal
23 Jan 2021 6:46 AM GMT
Communal Remarks Against Aligarh Muslim University: Allahabad HC Dismisses Plea By Hindu Mahasabha Leader For Quashing FIR And Stay Of Arrest
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A Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court comprising of Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta and Justice Rajendra Kumar on Thursday dismissed a writ petition filed by Ashok Kumar Pandey, Hindu Mahasabha Leader from Aligarh praying for quashing of an FIR filed against him for his communal remarks against Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and its founder Sir Saiyed Ahmad, resulting in hurting...

A Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court comprising of Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta and Justice Rajendra Kumar on Thursday dismissed a writ petition filed by Ashok Kumar Pandey, Hindu Mahasabha Leader from Aligarh praying for quashing of an FIR filed against him for his communal remarks against Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and its founder Sir Saiyed Ahmad, resulting in hurting religious feelings of a community and spreading hatred between religious groups.

The petitioner had also prayed for a stay on his arrest under the FIR during pendency of investigation in the matter.

ABOUT THE FIR

The FIR was filed by AMU Authorities against the petitioner after he made several remarks against the said University and its Founder in 2020. Subsequently, an FIR was lodged with the Civil Lines Police Station, Aligarh District under the following sections:

Sec. 153A of IPC: Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.

Sec. 153B of IPC: Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration.

Sec. 505(2) of IPC: Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes.

According to the FIR, the petitioner had made remarks against AMU by calling it "an institution being a classroom of terrorists" and also called its founder, Sir Saiyed Ahmad Khan as a "traitor".

Therefore, it was the case of the complainant that the statements made by the petitioner were said in an attempt to promote religious disharmony and hatred between different religious communities.

OBSERVATIONS OF THE COURT

After perusing the FIR on record, the High Court, while dealing with the first prayer of quashing of the FIR, observed that:

"The allegations prima facie discloses commission of cognizable offence and therefore, the FIR requires proper investigation and cannot be quashed at this stage."

On the second issue pertaining in the matter with regards to a stay on arrest during pendency of investigation, the bench relied on the judgment of State of Telengana v. Habib Abdullah Jellani 2017 (2) SCC 779 wherein the Supreme Court after disapproving with the HC order restraining the Investigating Agencies from arresting the accused, declined the prayer for quashing the FIR.

In view of the aforesaid judgment, the bench declined to stay the arrest of the accused and dismissed the writ petition.

"The writ petition is accordingly dismissed with the above observations. This is without prejudice to the right of the petitioner to seek anticipatory bail/bail, as may be maintainable or advised." The bench ordered.

Click Here To Download the Order




Case Name: Ashok Kumar Pandey v. State of UP & Ors.

Order Dated: 21.01.2021

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