HC quashes lower court cognizance against Union Ministers

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Jodhpur, Jan 23 (UNI) The Rajasthan High Court has quashed the order of Judicial magistrate Pratapgarh taking cognizance against HRD Union Minister Arjun Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Justice Bhagwati Prasad while accpeting the contention of counsel Sandeep Mehta, who appeared for the ministers, said the court action was the result of non-application of mind. The High Court asked whether a statment relating to political development published in a newspaper could form the basis for taking cognizance. The matter was later remanded back to the court for reconsideration.

The matter related to a newspaper report on Jan 25, 1999 in which Mr Arjun Singh and Mr Pranab Mukherjee allegedly condemned the brutal murder of missionaries in Orissa and held the ideology of Sangh Pariwar and Bajrang Dal responsible for the murder , as they believed in the politics of murder, violence and terrorism.

A Bajrang Dal activist had filed a private complaint in the judicial magistrate court at Pratapgarh on Feb 1, 1999 for offences under section 500-504 IPC.

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