The Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to not authorise the prosecution of Chief Minister Adityanath in a 2007 hate speech case was rejected by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
The decision was made by a bench that included Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justices Hima Kohli, and CT Ravikumar.
Parvez Parwaz, a Gorakhpur-based activist, brought the case against Adityanath in response to the rioting that took place in the city and nearby areas in January 2007. Several guys are accused of acting inappropriately toward the women in a musical group on January 26 before joining a nearby Moharram procession. A Hindu man was killed during skirmishes that broke out after shots were fired during the procession.
The following evening, Adityanath gave a lecture in front of the Gorakhpur train station, in violation of Section 144, which forbids gatherings of more than four individuals. A day later, violence expanded outside of Gorakhpur, resulting in two fatalities and significant property damage to houses, businesses, and cars.
In 2007, Parwaz filed a lawsuit in Allahabad High Court against Adityanath, who was then a Gorakhpur-based Bhartiya Janata Party MP.
He claimed that Adityanath had made a provocative statement that sparked racial unrest in Gorakhpur and the nearby districts. Asad Hayat, another witness, and Parwaz asked for an independent agency to look into the violence.
The Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government rejected the High Court’s request to prosecute the chief minister in 2017.
This event happened when the court called Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar to explain why five people, including Adityanath, had not yet been charged. According to Bhatnagar, a CD allegedly containing hate speech was found to have been tampered with during a forensic investigation. The High Court ultimately rejected the argument.
After then, Parwaz went to the Supreme Court to contest the government’s choice not to charge Adityanath.
A Gorakhpur court found Parwaz guilty of a two-year-old gang rape case and gave him a life term in jail in July 2020.