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SC clubs FIRs against Pawan Khera, transfers matter to Hazratganj police station in Lucknow
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday clubbed the FIRs against Pawan Khera and directed that FIRs registered in Varanasi and Assam shall stand transferred to Hazratganj police station in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and extended his interim protection from arrest till April 10 in his alleged controversial remark.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud directed that FIRs registered in Varanasi and Assam shall stand transferred to Hazratganj police station in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. The court also said that Khera will be at liberty to apply for regular bail before jurisdictional court.
Meanwhile, Soliciter General Tushar Mehta, apprised the court that after tendering the apology in court earlier, in his rejoinder, Khera said that it was made in a fair speech.
SG also said that Khera is yet to apologise for his remark and it is only his counsel has apologised.
The court noted that it grants interim protection to Khera because he apologised.
SG Mehta told the court the statement was innocent and the probe agency wants to see who was behind the statement. SG also said that how can someone stoop to this level of bringing someone's parents.
Earlier, in an affidavit, the Assam police and Uttar Pradesh Police has opposed the Pawan Khera plea seeking clubbing of FIRs. Assam Police had questioned Khera over his apology before the court whereas UP police said that he is trying to stall investigations into deliberate utterances of defamatory words relating to one of the highest Constitutional functionaries of this Country.
The response of the UP and Assam Police came on a counter affidavit filed in response to Khera's plea seeking clubbing of FIRs.
In reply, Assam police had told the SC a closer look at the available audio video clearly reveals that Pawan Khera has mischievously uttered sentences only with an extreme degree of irresponsibility but reducing the level of discourse at its lowest.
Assam Police had also told the SC that Pawan Khera has had neither tendered any apology in the petition nor has tendered any apology after the Court passed an order on Feb 23 2023 and the submission made before this top court tendering an apology clearly appears to be a practical submission to get a preventive order without any repentance.
Assam police also cited recent order passed by Apex court whereby it was stated that even an FIR registered subsequently as a leading FIR/First FIR and to be investigated by the investigating agency where the subsequent FIR has been registered. "Such decisions it is respectfully submitted, are taken on the basis of facts and circumstances of a case and Judicial discretion in this respect cannot scuttle by contending any straight-jacket rule," Assam Govt said. Assam Govt opposed the prayer of transfer and clubbing of the FIR.
Three separate FIRs were registered against Pawan Khera for allegedly making an objectionable comment against Prime Minister. One was registered at Halflong Police Station in District Dima Hasao in Assam, and two in Uttar Pradesh.
Lucknow Police and Varanasi Police have lodged separate FIRs against Khera.
Uttar Pradesh police told the SC that any interference in the course of an investigation is impermissible, and Pawan Khera is not entitled to seek the intervention of the top court in the course of an investigation.
UP Police submitted that the relief which survives for consideration by the Court is limited to clubbing and consolidation of all FIRs, lodged pursuant to the deliberate attempt of the petitioner to denigrate a constitutional functionary, in one jurisdiction.
UP Police said that Khera through his petition is trying to stall due to investigations into deliberate utterances of defamatory words relating to one of the highest Constitutional functionaries of this country. (ANI)