Gauhati High Court.

The Gauhati High High Court has set aside all orders of the lower court in a case against Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy for an alleged hate speech in Assam in 2015.

Justice Manish Choudhury in an order passed on Thursday junked all orders of the lower court for criminal proceedings against Swamy, who had filed a petition seeking the same.

The court maintained that the complaint did not make out any offence either under Section 153, IPC (rioting) or under Section 298, IPC (wounding religious sentiments) the criminal proceeding is quashed.

“As the criminal prosecution against the petitioner for the offences under Section 153A (promoting disharmony) and Section 295A (outraging religious feelings) of the Penal Code has been launched without any sanction, such criminal prosecution is held to be illegal. The continuance of the criminal proceeding … would amount to an abuse of the process of the Court,” the order stated.

The case against Swamy was filed before the chief judicial magistrate at Karimganj on March 17, 2015, alleging that he had made some “derogatory, unconstitutional and provocative” statements against a particular religion while interacting with the media in Guwahati on March 14, 2015.

Subsequently, the additional chief judicial magistrate of Karimganj took cognisance of the complaint and issued summons to Swamy on March 18 that year and subsequently a non-bailable warrant of arrest was issued against him on June 1, 2015.

Swamy had then filed a writ petition before the Gauhati High Court challenging the criminal proceedings, issuance of summons and the non-bailable warrant of arrest by the lower court and argued the case in person.

“The complainant had only taken the help of newspaper reports to allege that the accused person had made the alleged comments before the media persons, that too, without himself entering the witness box to depose in support of such accusations…As no offence under Section 298 of the Penal Code is made out, the criminal proceeding against the accused is liable to be set aside and quashed”, the ruling stated.

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