The Allahabad High Court has dismissed the plea to halt the trial of the ongoing case against Congress leader Randeep Surjewala in the Varanasi court on charges of vandalism, rioting, and damaging public property.
A bench of Justice Rajveer Singh issued this order while rejecting Surjewala’s petition.
The Court also turned down Surjewala’s request to stay the non-bailable warrant issued by the Varanasi court against him.
A case was registered against Surjewala 23 years ago in the Cantt police station of Varanasi under sections 147, 332, 353, 336, 333, and 427 of the IPC and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. The allegations include vandalism and disruption during the Youth Congress protest related to the then-famous Sanvasini incident, in which Surjewala was reportedly involved.
The trial has commenced in this case, challenged by a petition on behalf of Surjewala. The petitioner argued that, given the age of the case, its FIR, charge sheet, and other documents had nearly been destroyed, necessitating the cancellation of the trial process. There was also a plea to annul the non-bailable warrant issued by the trial court. The court had reserved its decision on October 30 after the hearing.
The court rejected Surjewala’s petition and dismissed both of his demands. Previously, the Supreme Court had granted five weeks’ protection against a Non-Bailable Warrant (NBW) to National Spokesperson of Congress Surjewala in the 23-year-old case of a violent protest in the divisional commissioner’s court and office compound in Varanasi.
The Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, along with Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, ordered that the NBW issued against Surjewala would not be executed for five weeks. The bench also allowed Surjewala four weeks to file an application before the Varanasi court seeking the cancellation of the NBW.