Lucknow: In a big relief to Uttar Pradesh’s Dr. Kafeel Khan, who was jailed on the grounds of making an ‘inflammatory speech’ on the subject of the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Allahabad High Court has set aside criminal proceedings against him, on technical grounds.
Agreeing with Dr. Khan’s plea that imperative prior permission of the Uttar Pradesh government was not taken by the police before filing charge sheet before an Aligarh magistrate, Justice Gautam Chowdhary has now sent back the case to the local court asking for a proper follow up of the case and through the right procedure.
"This is a big victory for the people of India and restores our faith in Judiciary. Yogi Adityanath government's high-handedness with the people of Uttar Pradesh has been completely exposed by this ruling of the Honorable Allahabad High Court," read a statement on the order from Dr. Khan.
"We also hope this brave judgment will give hope to all the pro-democracy citizens and activists languishing in jails across India. Long live Indian Democracy," it said.
Dr. Khan was charged with attempting to disturb AMU’s peaceful atmosphere and cause communal tension through his December 13, 2019, speech. He was charged with, among other things, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion. He was then arrested on January 29, 2020. Later the National Security Act was beseeched in the case. This stringent law empowers the government to detain people without being charged in court for up to a year if disruption of public order or endangering India's security or its ties with foreign countries is suspected.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's government has not reacted so far to yesterday's court ruling on Dr. Khan’s case.
Dr. Khan was suspended and later jailed for his alleged role in the deaths of over 60 children at a government hospital in Gorakhpur district due to an alleged oxygen shortage in 2017. Last September, he claimed a state government report had cleared him of all major accusations, but authorities denied it.