New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Gorakhpur magistrate to consider afresh the ‘hate speech’ complaint against the Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath as the complaint was rejected without assigning reasons.
The magistrate had rejected the complaint filed by one Rasheed Khan on the ground that the sanction for prosecution of Mr. Adityanath did not contain the signature of the sanctioning authority. The order however did not specify the reasons. On appeal, the Allahabad high court had remitted the matter back to the magistrate for consideration.
Disposing of an appeal filed by Rasheed Khan against this order, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justi-ces A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud said the magistrate should apply his mind and pass a speaking order.
The bench said the question that emerges for consideration is whether the magistrate, while entertaining a complaint and taking cognisance is obliged to rec-ord his satisfaction that sufficient ground exists for proceeding further. Quoting an earlier decision of the apex court the bench said this ruling amply suggest that an opinion is to be formed only after due application of mind that there is sufficient basis for proceeding against the accused and such an opinion must be stated in the order itself. The magistrate’s order is liable to be set aside if no reason is given therein while coming to the conclusion that there is prima facie case against the accused. The Bench therefore directed the magistrate, as the high court has remitted the matter to him, to pass appropriate orders keeping in view the law laid down in the aforesaid judgment.
In his complaint Rasheed Khan said on January 27, 2007 responding to a call given by Mr Adityanath, a mob of violent members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini and other Hindu organisations in order to imbibe fear in the local minorities at Gorakhpur raised provocative slogans about damaging the properties and killing of Muslims.
An FIR was registered against Mr Adityanath and others and petitioner also made a written complaint for action under IPC Section 153 for hate speech. This was rejected on the ground that sanction for prosecution did not contain the signature of the competent authority. The revisional court dismissed the appeal. But the Allahabad high court did remand the matter back to the magistrate. The present appeal is directed against that order. The apex court has now asked the magistrate to consider the complaint afresh and dispose it off in accordance with law.