Friday, June 7, 2013

High Court verdict delivers setback for Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav

June 07, 2013,Lucknow:---

In a setback for the Akhilesh Yadav government, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court today stayed the Samajwadi Party government\'s process of withdrawal of terror charges against those falsely implicated in terror cases.

The bench has given Mr Yadav\'s government six weeks to reply and referred the matter to a larger bench.

\"We respect the court\'s order. However, our government is committed to getting justice to innocent people framed in terror cases,\" the Chief Minister said after the verdict.

Akhilesh Yadav\'s poll promise on terror accused runs into legal hassle

Campaigning for the Assembly elections last year, the Samajwadi Party had promised in it controversial manifesto to review terror charges against innocent Muslim youth who had been allegedly framed in terror cases during the former Mayawati government.

When it came to power, the state government began work on its promise by ordering the withdrawal of terror charges against Khalid Mujahid, an accused in the Gorakhpur, Lucknow and Faizabad serial blasts case. In November, serial blasts had ripped through the three cities killing more than a dozen and injuring several people.

But a court in Barabanki rejected the state government\'s plea to withdraw terror cases against him and another accused Tariq Qasmi. The rejection came on technical grounds, for non-compliance of paperwork formalities.

Similarly, the Allahabad High Court had in November last year ticked off the UP government for seeking to withdraw cases against two suspects in the March 2006 Varanasi serial blasts, which claimed 25 lives, and asked if this would not encourage terrorism.

The Samajwadi Party rode to power as a result of a massive consolidation of the Muslim vote that constitutes one-fifth of the total voting population in Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, the concerns of the community are paramount for Mr Yadav. The withdrawal of terror cases is one of his biggest political commitments. But with every new hurdle in fulfilling this promise, there is a growing perception in the minds of Muslims that this promise was always meant to be broken.

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