No decision yet on withdrawing terror cases, UP govt tells HC

The state government on Thursday informed the Allahabad High Court that it was still in the process of gathering information, and had not formed any opinion regarding withdrawal of prosecution against the accused in terror-related cases.

Two petitions, filed by Nityanand Chaubey, challenging the state government's move to withdraw the cases against the accused in the Varanasi serial blasts of 2006 and the CRPF camp attack of 2007 had come up for hearing before the court.

Hearing the two petitions, a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Sanjay Misra fixed December 17 as the next date of hearing, as more time was sought by Advocate General S P Gupta, who appeared on behalf of the state government.

Gupta said: "Our submission before the court is that the state is still in the process of gathering information from its sources. Thereafter, it will form an opinion on whether or not to proceed with withdrawal of cases. Therefore, there was no occasion for passing an interim order. The court was pleased not to pass any interim order in the matter."

Shashi Shankar Tripathi, counsel for the petitioner, said: "We have submitted before the court that such a process should not be initiated in terror-related cases and they should be treated differently from other cases."

In the two petitions, the notifications issued on different dates to the district magistrates of Varanasi and Rampur, respectively, seeking a report on the possibility of withdrawing cases against the accused were challenged. The petitions had also demanded that they be quashed.

On December 31, 2007, at least seven CRPF personnel and one rickshaw puller were killed, while nearly 20 people were injured in an attack on the CRPF camp.

Two Pakistani nationals and five Indian nationals were arrested in this connection.

In Varanasi, three blasts at Sankat Mochan temple, Dashashwamedha Ghat and Varanasi cantonment railway station had occurred on March 7, 2006. At least 21 people were killed and more than 100 injured.

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