The Hyderabad High Court on Monday questioned the state government over the delay in prosecuting MIM legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi for his 2012 hate speech case and gave a week's time to both the state and police to spell out their stand clearly on the issue.
According to a report in the Times of India, the bench was dealing with a petition filed by one Syed Taraq Quadri of Hyderabad, who questioned the `inaction' on the police's part, who had registered two FIRs, but not filed charge-sheets in these cases so far.
The report also adds:
When the bench took up the case, the counsel for the petitioner told the court that the police failed to file a chargesheet in the case despite elapse of three years in the matter. The counsel for the state told that section 196 of CrPC makes it mandatory for them to obtain sanction from the government to prosecute legislators. In this case, the sanction was not accorded by the state so far, he said. The bench then told him that the state has to give reasons for its `inaction' in this regard.
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.
Following this, a suo moto FIR was registered against Akbaruddin Owaisi in the Nirmal and Nizamabad police stations.
According to section 468 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), in case 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).
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.