The Allahabad high court on Thursday rapped the Akhilesh Yadav government saying it cannot withdraw terror cases without the consent of the Centre. It also said the public prosecutor would have to examine independently whether the reason cited for withdrawal was genuine in every case.
The court order is seen as a major setback for the Samajwadi Party which had promised in its 2012 election manifesto that it would ensure the release of “innocent” Muslim youths jailed in fake terror cases. The court also said that the stay on withdrawal of terror cases would continue and directed to place the matter before the two-member division bench for final adjudication at the earliest.
The state government had started the process for withdrawing terror cases against 19 Muslims accused in various terror attacks, including those involved in the 2007 serial blasts in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad courts. However, some lawyers had challenged the decision in the Allahabad high court. The petition was dismissed but later another petition was filed in the HC’s Lucknow bench.
The court said prosecution under Central acts could not be withdrawn without Central government’s permission. Regarding the state government’s power to withdraw cases even after giving sanction for prosecution, the court said the prosecuting officer has to take independent decision in accordance with law on his own, before moving the application for withdrawal.