Allahabad High Court

Allahabad High Court: In an application filed by Salman Khurshid under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (‘CrPC’) seeking quashing the charge-sheet as well as the cognizance/summoning under Sections 153-A, 171-G of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) and Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Dinesh Kumar Singh, J. said that in view of the context in which Salman Khurshid uttered the offending sentence, and his regret for his comment, the continuation of the impugned proceedings against him would not be justified. Thus, the Court quashed the entire proceedings of the Sessions Trial.

In the case at hand, during the electioneering for Lok Sabha Election 2019, Salman Khurshid made the statement in response to question being put by the journalists in respect of the statement of Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, in which Shri Yogi Adityanath allegedly said that Salman Khurshid was sympathiser of Batla House accused/terrorists. The said incident was an encounter which took place in the year 2008 in which some terrorists were killed as well as one police inspector was also shot dead by the terrorists.

It is said that Salman Khurshid made an indecent remark against Yogi Adityanath, that “Rishte me ham unke Baap Lagte hai”.

Salman Khurshid submitted that this statement was made in a lighter vein which is a famous dialogue of movie “Shahenshah” without any intention to be disrespectful Yogi Adityanath. He had no intention to hurt and insult the feelings and sentiments of anyone.

The Court viewed that the impugned proceedings should be quashed, and said that sometimes, in a spur of moment, a person utters something with no intention to hurt feelings and sentiments of others, and if such person regrets for making such a statement, the Court should take a larger view of the matter and quash the proceedings.

It further said that regret is tough but fair teacher, and to live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be braver with your life. Salman Khurshid has regretted his offending comment, which means that he still has appetite to learn and be brave in life.

Thus, the Court quashed the entire proceedings of the Sessions Trial.

[Salman Khurshid v. State of U.P, 2023 SCC OnLine All 52, decided on 13-2-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Counsel for Applicant: Advocate Syed Mohd. Fazal, Senior Advocate S.G. Hasnain;

Counsel for Opposite Party: Government Advocate.

*Apoorva Goel, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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