New Delhi, Nov 9 (PTI) Granting relief to Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the execution of a Non-Bailable Warrant issued by the MP/MLA court of Varanasi against him in connection with a 23-year-old criminal case of damage to public property.
Special Judge (MP-MLA) Avanish Gautam had on Wednesday issued NBW against Surjewala, a Rajya Sabha MP, directing him to appear on November 21.
Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Surjewala, mentioned the matter before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud in the morning and sought an urgent hearing. The CJI fixed it for hearing later in the day.
During the hearing, Singhvi submitted that the case dates back to the year 2000 and the summons against Surjewala was issued 22 years later in August 2022.
The senior lawyer argued that since the court had not provided him legible copies of essential documents, the Congress leader moved the Allahabad High Court under Section 482 CrPC and the court reserved its judgement on October 30, 2023.
Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) confers powers on the high court to pass orders necessary to prevent the abuse of the process of the court or to secure the ends of justice.
Despite the high court reserving the judgement, non-bailable warrant was issued against Surjewala, Singhvi said. The NBW, he said, was issued at a time when Surjewala was busy campaigning for the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections.
The top court then asked Surjewala to approach the court of special judge (MP/MLA) Varanasi for cancellation of the NBW within five weeks.
"The petitioner is granted liberty to move an application for cancellation of NBW. The warrant shall not be executed in the meantime for a period up to five weeks," said the bench, also comprising Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra.
The case dates back to the year 2000 when Surjewala, who was then the national president of the Indian Youth Congress, was booked for allegedly creating a ruckus while protesting against the alleged false implication of Congress leaders in the Samvasini scandal relating to women inmates of a protection home in Varanasi.
During the demonstration, the Congress leader along with his supporters allegedly indulged in damaging property, stone-pelting and prevented public servants from discharging their duties. PTI PKS SJK CK SK SK