On Tuesday, the Supreme Court granted protection from coercive action to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh in alleged hate speech cases lodged against him in Uttar Pradesh, but said he cannot divide society on lines of caste and religion.
Singh, who is facing a non-bailable warrant (NBW) for allegedly claiming the Uttar Pradesh government favoured only a certain class in the society, has sought for clubbing and quashing of FIRs lodged against him. The FIR against Singh was lodged in Lucknow, following the comments he made at a press conference last year.
A bench comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan and R S Reddy also issued notice to the UP government and sought its reply on Singh’s plea for quashing multiple FIRs lodged against him in the case and said, “UP cops are not precluded from seeking sanction from Rajya Sabha chairperson to prosecute MP Sanjay Singh in the cases.”
During the hearing, Senior advocate Vivek Tankha and advocate Sumeer Sodhi, appearing for Singh, said that no procedures were followed by the police in lodging the case and sanction to prosecute the Rajya Sabha MP was not taken.
The bench said that it will not get into the sanction aspect at this moment but it does not mean that no offence has been made out against Singh.
The bench also said, “The court understands that sanction to prosecute under section 197 CrPC ought to have been taken from chairperson of Rajya Sabha.”
On February 2, the Top Court had refused to grant protection to Singh against whom a non-bailable warrant (NBW) has been issued on an FIR lodged in Lucknow, following the comments he made at a press conference last year.
The AAP leader has moved the apex court seeking quashing of multiple FIRs lodged against him in various districts of Uttar Pradesh after the press conference, saying they have been “maliciously instituted to unleash political vendetta”.
In a separate petition, Singh has also challenged the January 21 order of the Allahabad High Court which refused to quash the FIR in Lucknow.