Union Minister of State for Law and Justice, SP Singh Baghel appeared before a Special Court for MP-MLA on Saturday, May 28. He alleged violation of Section 144 CrPC in Etmadpur (Agra) in 2016, by holding a public meeting without permission. The next hearing in the case has been fixed for June 7.
The police filed a charge sheet in the case. The minister had submitted an application before the court requesting the charges to be set aside, which was rejected by the court.
The case was registered against Baghel in Etmadpur police station after he announced a Panchayat on April 15, 2016, demanding the arrest of Muslim Khan and others, who were wanted in a case. Subsequently, on April 11, 2016, Baghel organized a public meeting on the Nagla Gangaram crossing of Station Road without permission, after which, a case was registered against Baghel and his supporters for the violation of Section 144 CrPC under section 188 CrPC.
Reacting to the issue, social activist Sameer said that since Baghel is holding an important portfolio in the union government, he should be exempted from personal appearances in court on every hearing.
He said that in a democratic country, an oppressive law like section 144 CrPC should not exist, as it is being widely misused all over the country now. He said that in Agra, Section 144 CrPC, which cannot be imposed for more than six months in a district, has become a permanent feature for several years, which is a suppression of the democratic rights of the people to protest any government policies that they do not feel justified.