Legal relief for Randeep Surjewala: Supreme Court's 5-week shield in 23-years-old case
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi urgently presented the matter before the court, emphasizing the lack of urgency in issuing the warrant as the Allahabad High Court had reserved orders on a petition seeking the quashing of the case.
The Supreme Court on Thursday (November 9) intervened to stay a non-bailable warrant issued against Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala. This warrant, issued by an MP/MLA court in Varanasi, is related to a 23-year-old case where Surjewala is accused of vandalism during a political protest. The Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, heading the bench, granted Surjewala a five-week protection period and allowed him to appear before the trial court in four weeks to seek cancellation of the warrant.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi urgently presented the matter before the court, emphasizing the lack of urgency in issuing the warrant as the Allahabad High Court had reserved orders on a petition seeking the quashing of the case. The bench, also comprising justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, permitted Surjewala to approach the trial court for warrant cancellation within four weeks, and the warrant execution was stayed for five weeks.
Singhvi argued that the warrant issuance was unnecessary, given the pending judgment in the Allahabad High Court and described the case as a political protest. The bench urged Surjewala to appear before the trial court and cancel the warrant. Singhvi, requesting four weeks for legal recourse, highlighted his prior application to the trial court for legible and readable documents from the prosecution.
The case dates back to 2000, involving Surjewala as the national president of Youth Congress and other Congress leaders protesting the alleged false implication of party leaders in the Samvasini scandal in Varanasi.
The police accused Surjewala and his supporters of damaging property, stone-throwing, and obstructing public servants during the demonstration, leading to the filing of a criminal case. The Supreme Court's intervention adds a new dimension to the longstanding legal battle.