New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked a court in UP to decide whether it would look afresh at a complaint against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for a 2007 hate speech. The order from the Supreme Court came on Tuesday in response to a demand to prosecute Yogi Adityanath. The apex court has asked the Gorakhpur court to decide whether it would look into the matter for further action. It also has to give a detailed judgement to the apex court. (Also read: Yogi Govt Moves to Drop Hate Speech Cases Against Sadhvi Prachi, BJP Leaders)

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud disposed of a petition challenging the Allahabad High Court order dismissing a plea filed by one Rasheed Khan in the case. “We only direct the Magistrate (in Gorakhpur), as the High Court has remitted the matter to him, to pass appropriate orders keeping in view the law laid down. The Special Leave Petition stands disposed of accordingly,” the bench said.

The case relates to a 2007 incident in Gorakhpur when Yogi was a Member of Parliament. It was Satvi Moharram and on Yogi’s call, members of right-wing outfit Hindu Vahini, traders and businessman reportedly started assembling and raising slogans. Reports say that around 10 AM that day, agitators set several properties ablaze, damaged religious scriptures and indulged in destructive activities at the Imam Chowk in Gorakhpur. To disperse them, the police had to fire several rounds in the air.

An FIR was lodged on charges of rioting, outraging religious feelings, trespassing on burial places and inciting enmity between groups. A chargesheet was filed on June 14 against all the accused. and the Chief Judicial Magistrate took cognizance of the notice which was challenged before the Sessions Judge.  Then, in 2017, the Sessions Judge allowed criminal revision and set aside the cognizance order of Chief Judicial Magistrate. This February, the high court upheld the Gorakhpur court’s order. For hate speech cases,  a court cannot take cognizance of charges except with the approval of the Central or the state government.