Withdrawal of case against CM challenged

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Jabalpur, Jul 24 (UNI) Madhya Pradesh High Court will hear on August 4 a petition challenging withdrawal of a criminal case against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ''in public interest''.

Justice Rakesh Saxena fixed the hearing yesterday on a plea by Siddharth Gupta for early hearing of his petition challenging withdrawal of the case against Mr Chauhan.

The case relates to dharna and demonstration in front of the Forest Office in Raisen district in 1995. Criminal cases were registered against 18 people, including Mr Chouhan then a member of Parliament.

A local court at Gairatganj, where the challan was presented, had fined 15 accused and issued non-bailable warrants against Mr Chouhan and two others, Yogendra Singh Chouhan and Hari Om, for non-appearance during hearings.

The court later granted permission for withdrawal of the case in public interest in 2005 when Mr Chouhan became Chief Minister.

The petition challenging withdrawal of the case was pending since 2006 when it was admitted after initial objection by the Chief Minister's counsel for delay. The court permitted delayed submission of the review petition.

During last hearing, the Chief Minister's counsel sought time to reply. Yesterday also, he raised objections on the petitioner's plea for early hearing of the case, but the court overruled it.

UNI XC-SP GT MIR KP1705

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