Even as several activists continue to be in jail for reportedly inciting the Delhi riots, a Delhi court on Wednesday dismissed a plea seeking an FIR against Union minister Anurag Thakur and BJP MP Parvesh Verma for their speeches leading up to the riots.
The speeches were related to the anti-CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh.
The plea was heard by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja.
The Indian Express reported the court as saying, “Admittedly, there is no previous sanction obtained by the complainants from the competent authority to prosecute the respondents for offences alleged in the complaint. Hence, in view of the settled position of law… the complaint deserves to be dismissed for being not tenable in the eyes of law. Accordingly, the same stands dismissed.”
CPI (M) leaders CPM leaders Brinda Karat and KM Tewari had filed the complaint seeking a direction to the Parliament Street Police Station to register an FIR against Thakur and Verma, reported PTI.
The court said that the complaint was not sustainable without the prior sanction.
Karat had told the court in her complaint that Thakur and Verma had sought to incite people as a result of which three incidents of firing took place at two different protest sites in Delhi.
The PTI report said that the complaint had sought lodging of FIRs under various sections, including 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.), 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the IPC.
It had also sought action under other sections of the IPC, including 298 (uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation).
The maximum punishment for the offences is jail term for seven years.
Karat approached the court after her written complaints to the Commissioner of Police and the SHO, Parliament Street, failed to elicit any response.
She had told the court that she had written to the commissioner on January 29 and subsequently on 31, while the letter to the SHO Parliament Street was sent on February 2.
Thakur had encouraged incendiary slogans at an election rally in Delhi where he chanted ‘desh ke gaddaron ko’ and the crowd and responded ‘goli maron salo ko’.
Meanwhile, BJP MP Parvesh Verma had told the people of Delhi that Shaheen Bagh protesters would “rape and kill your sisters”.
The two leaders had been banned from campaigning after their speech.
The dismissal of Karat’s plea comes at a time when several activists like Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal continue to be in jail.
(With PTI inputs)