Fortuitous week for BJP functionaries as courts protects 3 from punitive action under law

No conviction in assault case, no FIR in hate speech, no violation of election code for BJP MP Ram Shankar, Assam CM Sarma and BJP president JP Nadda respectively

In three instances since August, courts have intervened and protected various Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionaries from having any action initiated against them. On August 7, a case of hate speech under the Indian Penal Code against the Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma was set aside and a case of violation of Model Code of Conduct against BJP president JP Nadda was quashed. Prior to this, on August 3, a conviction of assault and rioting against MP Ram Shankar Katheria was also stayed, protecting him from disqualification from the Lok Sabha.  

UP Court Stays BJP MP Ram Shankar Katheria’s Conviction in Assault Case:

On August 7, a district court in Agra stayed the conviction of BJP MP Ram Shankar Katheria in a 2011 case of assault on the staff of a private power firm for which he was sentenced to two years imprisonment by a lower court. This came after the August 5 order of the MP-MLA court which had held the Etawah MP guilty of the charges he was accused of and sentenced him to two years of imprisonment, besides imposing a penalty of Rs 50,000.

In the District and Sessions Court in Agra, an application was filed against the MP-MLA court order which was approved. The district court ordered the MP to submit a personal bond of Rs 20,000 and two independent guarantors for the same amount while fixing September 11 as the next date of hearing.

It is essential to note that an elected representative sentenced for any offence for two years or more faces immediate disqualification. The order of the Agra district court gave Katheria relief for now from the possibility of disqualification from the Lok Sabha till the next hearing on the application.

Essentially, Katheria was booked at the Hariparwat Police Station in Agra under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 147 (riots) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt to people). 

Karnataka HC quashes Model Code of Conduct violation case against BJP President JP Nadda:

On August 7, the Karnataka High Court quashed a case on violation of election code filed against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President JP Nadda. The bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna passed the aforementioned order.

It was purported in the said case that Nadda had allegedly made statements with were enticing in mature, made to sway voters during a campaign in Harpanahalli town, Vijayanagar district, during the last assembly elections.

Senior Advocate Uday Holla, counsel representing Nadda, had contended that there was no evidence in the complaint to substantiate the allegation that the BJP leader had enticed or intimidated voters through his alleged speeches. The counsel had further provided the Court that there was no evidence to indicate that Nadda’s speech had influenced the election results. Moreover, there were procedural lapses in obtaining permission from the Magistrate to file the case, the counsel argued. Nadda’s counsel, therefore, had contended that the trial court’s decision to admit the case was flawed.

Brief background of the allegation against Nadda: According to the case, on May 7, 2023, JP Nadda gave a speech relating to the 2023 Karnataka assembly elections during a BJP election campaign event held in the IB circle of Harpanahalli in the Vijayanagar district.

According to reports, he said that a dual-engine administration will support the Central government’s initiatives in the State and that if the BJP government loses the state election, people would no longer be able to participate in the Central government’s programs.

With regard to these comments, the Election Officer had complained to the Harpanahalli Police Station, which resulted in the filing of a case for purported violations of the Model Code of Conduct.

Gauhati HC sets aside Lower Court order directing police to register FIR against CM Himanta Biswa for ‘Inflammatory Speech’:

On August 3, the Gauhati High Court quashed a lower court’s order to file a first information report (FIR) for suspected hate speech against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Following a violent incident during the Sipajhar eviction drive in September 2021, the lower court had ordered the filing of the FIR against Sarna in relation to comments made.

The said order setting aside the lower court’s order was delivered by the bench of Justice Ajit Borthakur of the High Court, which stated that the Magistrate’s order appeared rushed and lacked due process. The court noted that the Chief Minister and the police officers were not given an opportunity to present their side before the FIR order was issued.

As reported by Livelaw, the order further stated that the words used by CM Sarma in his speech did not qualify as ‘communally inflammatory’. It has also been provided by the High Court in its order that the Magistrate had made an erroneous judgment by ordering the FIR without examining the allegations against the CM. The court emphasized that the provision in the Criminal Procedure Code, which empowers Magistrates to direct investigations into cognizable offenses should not be interpreted strictly to compel the police to file an FIR.

Notably, the initial complaint in the current case was filed by MP Abdul Khaleque who had alleged that Sarma’s speech aimed to disrupt the fragile communal harmony in the state. The complaint had sought for the registration of an FIR against Sarma under Sections 153 (provocation with the intention of causing the offence of rioting) and 153A (promoting enmity) of the IPC.

The complete order can be read here:


Alarm bells must set off in the country on the hate killings by RPF constable Chetan Singh, says PUCL

Nuh Clashes planned and coordinated, more such violence likely before 2024 Polls: Satyapal Malik

Delhi police file chargesheet against BJP MP Brij Bhushan, submits cancellation report in POCSO Case

Terror accused BJP MP Pragya Thakur delivers hate speech in Bhopal, recalls her role in demolition of Babri Masjid

Bilkis Bano gang rape convict shares stage with BJP MP, MLA: Gujarat

UP: Azamgarh BJP MP Allegedly Threatened to ‘Break Knees’ of Villagers Protesting Airport Expansion



Related Articles