Sedition case in Delhi court against Manmohan, others

New Delhi : A Supreme Court lawyer on Wednesday moved a city court to book former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former vice-president Hamid Ansari and others under Section 120-B, 121-A and 124(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for alleged sedition for a conspiracy hatched with Pakistan on December 6 “to destabilise the present government and effect the Gujarat poll.”

It has been filed by Ajay Agrawal, who was the BJP candidate from Rae Bareli against Sonia Gandhi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and who regularly appears in the debate on the TV channels. He had bagged 1.74 lakh votes as against Sonia’s 5.26 lakh.

Agrawal has deliberately not made Dr Manmohan Singh or anybody else who attended the meeting as respondents. He has made on Delhi Police Commissioner and the Hazrat Nizamuddin Police Station House officer as respondent.

Advocate Ajay Agrawal, who lives in the same Jungpura Extension colony of south Delhi in which the alleged conspiracy meeting was held at the residence of former MP Mani Shankar Aiyar, filed the case before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at the Saket Courts after the Nizamuddin Police Station refused to register his FIR (first information report) against persons who attended the unauthorised and illegal Indo-Pak meeting.

The matter is fixed for hearing on January 4 at 2 PM in the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate Ms Manika in Room No.512 of the Saket Courts, New Delhi.

It is the same controversial meeting that was used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a Gujarat poll rally to accuse Dr Manmohan Singh and others hatching a conspiracy against him with Pakistan.

In his applications to court as also to the police station and the National Investigation Agency (NIA), advocate Agrawal said the purpose of the meeting became known “the very next day when its host Mani Shankar Aiyar uttered highly derogatory and abusive language ‘Neech Aadmi” to the elected Indian Prime Minister.”

“This act of inciting hatred towards the elected government and the person doing it and the persons involved in conspiracy should be booked under appropriate provisions of law, including Section 120-B, 121-A, 124 (A) of IPC (sedition).

The lawyer’s case is that the police should have started investigation on his complaint, registering the FIR until the Centre transfers the case to the NIA.

He says Aiyar’s shocking abuse of Narendra Modi had direct link with the previous late night meeting as he “deliberately abused the Prime Minister just two days before Gujarat polls to influence the voters.”

The lawyer did not file his complaint with police immediately after this meeting, but only on December 25, with a reminder the next day to register the FIR. In his court application, he says he could not do so early as he had gone to Ahmedabad the very next early morning after PM Modi took note of the meeting in his election meeting on December 9. He went to police only when the NIA did not take cognizance of his complaint on December 13 to initiate action against those who attended the alleged clandestine meeting and probe as to what transpired by interrogating the participants.

Pointing out that the meeting was attended shockingly by former army chief Deepak Kapoor, former foreign minister K Natwar Singh and many former diplomats, the application says it was definitely not an ordinary meeting “but something to clandestinely undermine the interest of the nation.”

It says the Pakistan High Commissioner and former Pakistan foreign minister were invited without taking prior approval of the government, particularly when the relations with Pakistan are not cordial.

The lawyer’s concern is that Dr Manmohan Singh and Hamid Ansari are privy to the top secret information they had while in office and they are duty-bound not to share it with anyone. They need not share any such information in such a meeting when the India-Pakistan affairs are within the domain of the Indian government and it is the Government of India alone which is empowered to hold discussions on such affairs.

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