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Karnataka does a U-turn in Uma Bharti case
August 30, 2004 17:11 IST
Last Updated: August 30, 2004 17:30 IST
In a surprise U-turn, the Karnataka government on Monday told the high court that it stood by a two-year old Cabinet decision dropping charges against former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti against whom it had sought reopening of the rioting case in June last in a Hubli court.
After the hype and hoopla last week over the non-bailable arrest warrant issued against her capped by a police team setting out to Bhopal to arrest her, Advocate General B T Parthasarathy appeared before a bench, headed by the Chief Justice N K Jain, and said, "There is no political vendetta against Bharti."
The government stood by the Cabinet decision of 2002 withdrawing all charges against Bharti and others, he said.
Bharti, who resigned as chief minister last Monday to appear before the Court in Hubli, faced charges in a case of rioting in which five people were killed in police firing when she defied prohibitory orders to hoist the national flag at the Idgah maidan on the Independence day in 1994.
She was remanded to 14 days judicial custody by the first class magistrate and has been lodged in a guest house of the Dharwad University.
A police team had set out from Hubli last Sunday to execute the warrant and returned once Bharti made her intentions clear of surrendering before the court.
Following the AG's submission, the court directed that the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Hubli, consider the application of the Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) seeking withdrawal of the cases against the BJP leader.
The magistrate had earlier rejected the government application for withdrwal of the cases on technical grounds saying it had no no jurisdiction.
The high court bench, which also comprised Justice V G Sabhahit, passed the order while dismissing a public interest litigation petition filed by a farmer of Gadag district seeking quashing of proceedings against Bharti.
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