Model code, Covid norms violation: HC stays local court proceedings against Akhilesh Yadav

The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday stayed criminal proceedings initiated by a local court against Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav for alleged violation of the model code of conduct and Covid norms during the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls in 2022.

The proceedings were initiated by a Gautam Budh Nagar district court on a case registered against him, RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary and others at the Dadri police station.

Hearing an application filed by Yadav, Justice Raj Beer Singh also directed the state government’s counsel to file a reply and fixed January 21 as the next of hearing in the case.

In the present petition, only Yadav has challenged the charge-sheet in the case and the criminal proceedings.

Police had registered the case under Indian Penal Code sections 188 (any deliberate disobedience of an order duly promulgated by a public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection), 270 (act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act.

The charge-sheet in the case was subsequently filed against them on October 12, 2022.

Appearing on behalf of the applicant, his counsel Imran Ullah contended that in such type of cases relating to violation of guidelines, a complaint can only be filed by the person whose order has been violated. In this case, this was not done and directly an FIR was lodged by police, he claimed.

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The act which Yadav had allegedly done has not been appended anywhere in the case diary, Ullah said.

Further, Yadav was not suffering from Covid, “then how was he likely to spread the infection, as has been alleged in the FIR”, he said.

Lastly, he contended that all the witnesses in this case were police personnel whose statement are same, and hence, cannot be relied upon.

After hearing the counsels of both parties, the court stayed the local court’s proceedings against Yadav.

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