AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi may soon have the last laugh, as his chances of escaping legal hurdles in the infamous 2013 hate speech case seems to be getting easier. More than two and a half years after the incident, the police have failed to file charge sheets in two cases against Owaisi.
Responding to an RTI application (a copy of which is with TNM) by M Srinivas, an activist, Public Information Officers at the District Court of Nizamabad and Nirmal civil court (Adilabad district) have replied that the courts have not received any charge sheet.
On 22 December 2012, Owaisi addressed a rally of roughly 25,000 people in the Nirmal town of Andhra Pradesh's Adilabad district. In a two-hour-long speech that would later go viral on the internet and land the politician in trouble, he lashed out against Hindus, the RSS, VHP, BJP and Narendra Modi.
It has been 34 months since a suo moto FIR was registered against Akbaruddin Owaisi in the Nirmal and Nizamabad police stations on January 2, 2013.
Why this becomes important is because according to section 468 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), in case the offence is punishable with a maximum period of three years, and a final report is not filed within three years, the accused can ask to be discharged from the case. This would apply to the Nizamabad case as the sections that Owaisi is charged with are punishable with upto three years in jail.
Owaisi has been facing charges of making a hate speech, waging war against the country and having intention to cause riots, under Sections 153, 153A, 121 and 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
In response to an RTI query by M Srinivas, officials at the civil court on Nirmal replied that the court did not receive the chargesheet as on September 29, 2015.
The second case, which was with the Nizamabad court, was later transferred to the VI Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Hyderabad, but no one really seems to know its current status is. The Nizamabad court has said in the RTI reply that no charge sheet had been filed with the court till the case was transferred out in December 2013.
When The News Minute contacted the Nizamabad Two Town police station, they claimed that the case had been shifted to the CID office in Hyderabad.
However, when we called the CID office in Hyderabad, an officer said "We have not received the case from the police yet. We can't tell for sure which stage of the process the file is in either."
Background of the case
Days after the FIRs were filed, the Hyderabad police arrested Owaisi from Gandhi Hospital in Secunderabad January 8, 2013, after he tried to skip court. Owaisi had claimed that he was undergoing treatment for a 2011 assassination attempt on him that left him with bullet wounds.
After 40 days in prison, he was granted conditional bail on February 15, 2013. A court in Adilabad said that he should not enter Nirmal except to attend the sessions in court and that he surrender his passport.
The police also had collected various video and audio clippings of the speech given by Owaisi in Nirmal and also recorded his voice in presence of the Magistrate at Nirmal.
The investigating officer has since written to the government seeking permission to prosecute Owaisi but his file is still hanging in bureaucratic limbo.
Word in political circles suggest that the ruling TRS party in the state may be going easy on the younger Owaisi, keeping in mind the prospective political alliance between the MIM and the TRS for the upcoming GHMC elections.