On January 4, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea filed by Congress leader Pawan Khera seeking to quash the FIR and criminal proceedings against him for allegedly making objectionable remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta declined to quash the FIR and criminal proceedings against him.
The apex court said it was not inclined to interfere with the High Court order, saying, “Sorry, we are not inclined.”
Pawan Khera challenged the Allahabad High Court order, which had refused to quash criminal proceedings against him for an alleged mispronunciation of the Prime Minister’s name as ‘Narendra Gautam Das Modi’ at a press conference.
On August 17, 2023, the High Court dismissed Pawan Khera’s plea, saying the evidence collected by the investigating officer in the case could not be evaluated in the petition filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) for quashing the case.
On March 20, 2023, the apex court clubbed three FIRs lodged against Pawan Khera in Assam and Uttar Pradesh for his remarks and transferred the matter to the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow while extending his interim bail.
The Lucknow court had granted bail to the Congress leader in the case. The Congress spokesperson had tendered an unconditional apology in court for the alleged remarks.
On February 23, the Assam police arrested Pawan Khera from the airport about an FIR registered over the remark at a press conference in Mumbai on February 17. The top court granted him interim bail the same day, which was extended from time to time.
Pawan Khera is facing charges under Sections 153A (promoting communal enmity), 153B (imputations prejudicial to national integration), 500 (defamation), 504 (insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
(with inputs from ANI)