Remarks against PM Modi: SC refuses to quash criminal proceedings against Pawan Khera

New Delhi, Jan 4 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a plea of Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera for quashing criminal proceedings against him over the alleged remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After hearing a special leave petition filed by Khera against the order passed by the Allahabad High Court, a bench of Justice B R Gavai and Justice Sandeep Mehta refused to quash the criminal proceedings against him over his alleged ‘Narendra Gautam Das Modi’ comment made at a press conference in Mumbai.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the State of Uttar Pradesh pointed out that the reply to Khera’s petition has been filed based on the chargesheet.

“They have only relied on the chargesheet. But, now you go on seeking apologies and apologies,” Justice Gavai asked Senior Advocate Salman Khurshid, who was appearing for Khera.

The Court dismissed Khera’s plea saying “Anyway, sorry, we are not inclined to give you any relief,” Justice Gavai said.

In October, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Khera had tendered a clarification that the comment had been made inadvertently and a prompt apology was issued in a separate post on X ( formerly known as Twitter).

He also argued that the charges leveled against Khera, which included defamation, attempting to degrade and destabilise the nation, promoting enmity and hatred between different groups, and disturbing public peace were a ‘complete stretch’.

He also tendered an unconditional apology in the Allahabad High Court for the purported incident. The high court, however, declined to grant him any relief and dismissed his plea.

The case relates to multiple first information reports that were registered against congress leader Pawan Khera over his ‘Narendra Gautam Das Modi’ remark at a press conference in February this year.

Charges of (promoting communal enmity), 153B (imputations prejudicial to national integration), 500 (defamation), 504 (insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code were leveled against him.

On February 23, the Assam police arrested Khera from the Delhi airport in relation to an FIR registered over the remark.

On the same day of his arrest, the Supreme Court granted Khera temporary relief and directed his release on interim bail till the next date of hearing. The interim relief was later extended from February 28 to March 3, and again till March 17.

On March 20, the Supreme Court clubbed the FIRs registered against him at Varanasi and Assam and transferred them to the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Khera was also granted liberty to apply for regular bail before the jurisdictional court in the matter. In August, Khera was granted bail by a local court in Lucknow.

The Congress spokesperson also approached the Allahabad High Court seeking the quashing of the summons order and chargesheet filed against him. He also tendered an unconditional apology for the purported incident. The high court, however, declined to grant him any relief and dismissed his plea.

Justice Rajeev Singh of Allahabad High Court said that the evidence collected by the investigating officer could not be assessed by the court during the ongoing proceedings under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Proceedings.

Leave a Reply