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Ruling on dropping cases against Uma at 3 pm
September 01, 2004 13:04 IST
The judicial magistrate first class in Hubli will give his ruling on the plea for withdrawal of cases against former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti at 3 pm today.
The JMFC, Mohammed Ismail, rejected the assistant public prosecutor's plea in the morning to grant a week's time to submit his written arguments for the withdrawal of cases. The court also asked the APP whether the application for withdrawal of cases made before the court in 2002 was done 'independently' and whether he had applied his mind to it. To this, the APP replied in the affirmative. Counsel for Bharti told the court that it could decide independently on the case as per the directions of the state high court, in the larger interests of the public. After hearing both sides, the case was adjourned to 3 pm.
The court had adjourned the case on Tuesday after the proceedings were disrupted by agitating lawyers demanding the setting up of a high court bench in Hubli-Dharwad. The advocates boycotted the courts for a day following the Karnataka Chief Justice N K Jain's opinion submitted to the government that there was no need for a bench in north Karnataka. Slogan-shouting advocates had barged into the court hall and stalled proceedings yesterday, not even allowing the APP to enter the court hearing the Uma Bharti case.
Bharti is facing cases for attempt to murder and rioting in the aftermath of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led agitation to hoist the national flag at the Idgah maidan in Hubli in 1994. The Karnataka government had decided to withdraw the cases against Bharti in 2002 but recently sought to reopen them before taking another U-turn to drop the charges.
The case came back to the JMFC after the government told the high court on Monday last that it stood by its 2002 decision to withdraw the cases. Following this, the high court directed the JMFC, Hubli, to consider the APP's application seeking withdrawal of cases against the BJP leader.
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