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Remarks against PM Modi: SC agrees to hear Congress leader Pawan Khera's plea against HC order

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea by Congress leader Pawan Khera challenging the Allahabad High Court’s refusal to quash criminal proceedings against him for allegedly making objectionable remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and Prashant Kumar Mishra sought responses, including from the state of Uttar Pradesh, on Khera’s plea challenging the August 17 order of the high court.

“Issue notice,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Khera, told the bench that proceedings in the matter be stayed.

The bench also issued notice on the interim relief sought in the plea.

On August 17, the high court had dismissed Khera’s plea saying the evidence collected by the investigating officer of the case cannot be evaluated in petition filed under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for quashing the case.

It had observed that since the top court had asked Khera to raise all the contentions before the jurisdictional court at Lucknow, it would be appropriate if he raises all his grievances before the said court.

On March 20, the top court clubbed three FIRs lodged against Khera in Assam and Uttar Pradesh for allegedly making objectionable remarks against Prime Minister Modi and transferred the matter to the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow while extending his interim bail.

The Lucknow court had granted him bail in the case.

Khera has tendered an unconditional apology in the court for the alleged remarks.

The Congress spokesperson was arrested from the Delhi airport on February 23 after he was de-boarded from a plane that was supposed to take him to Raipur. However, he was granted interim bail by the top court the same day, which was extended from time to time.

He was arrested by the Assam Police in connection with his alleged remarks against PM Modi made at a press conference in Mumbai on February 17.

(Published 16 October 2023, 08:26 IST)

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