The Allahabad High Court on Thursday rejected a petition seeking an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath’s alleged role in the riots in Gorakhpur in 2007, ANI reported. Adityanath was the Lok Sabha MP from Gorakhpur at the time.

A division bench of judges Krishna Murari and Akhilesh Chandra Sharma said that the court found “no material irregularities” in the present investigation and in the Uttar Pradesh government’s refusal to grant sanction to prosecute Adityanath, The Indian Express reported. It dismissed the petition but said no costs would be imposed on the petitioners.

Farman Naqvi, counsel for the petitioners, said the verdict was “hopelessly disappointing”. “The findings are illegal and contrary to facts,” he said. “We will file an appeal in the Supreme Court against this order.”

The advocate claimed there were “glaring discrepancies” in the investigation of the video evidence of Adityanath’s alleged hate speech. However, A Sand, who represented the state, said the government had presented its view in court that the video evidence had been tampered with, which left no grounds to sanction having Adityanath prosecuted.

The case so far

On February 1, the Allahabad High Court had upheld a sessions court verdict that quashed a magistrate’s order taking cognisance of a chargesheet against Adityanath in the case. However, the court had held that the chief judicial magistrate of Gorakhpur can decide on the case afresh “in accordance with the law and in the exercise of his unfettered discretion”.

On January 27, 2007, the Kotwali Police registered a First Information Report against Adityanath and several others for allegedly promoting enmity between two groups of people. After the Bharatiya Janata Party leader was arrested on the basis of the FIR, members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini – a group Adityanath founded – ransacked public property and torched a train compartment.

Later, an FIR was filed against Adityanath for allegedly inciting communal riots through hate speeches.