The Supreme Court on Monday sought the response of the Uttar Pradesh government on a plea by Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera seeking to quash the criminal case registered against him for botching up the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a press conference [Pawan Khera v. State of Uttar Pradesh and anr].
A bench of Justices BR Gavai and Prashant Kumar Mishra also issued notice to private complainant, BJP UP legislator Mukesh Sharma.
The Allahabad High Court had on August 17 dismissed Khera’s plea leading to the instant appeal before the apex court.
At a press conference held in February this year, Khera while demanding a joint parliamentary probe into the Adani-Hindenburg row, had said,
“If Narasimha Rao could form a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee), if Atal Bihari Vajpayee could form a JPC, then what problem does Narendra Gautam Das…sorry Damodardas Modi have?” Khera had said.
He later appeared to confirm the middle name with a colleague. The BJP alleged that Khera deliberately flubbed the name.
Khera was picked up from the Delhi airport on February 23 after he had boarded a plane to Chhattisgarh’s Raipur where he was headed for a meeting of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).
He was deplaned and then taken by the Assam Police based on a first information report (FIR) registered against him.
He had moved the Supreme Court, which granted him interim protection and ordered that the three cases registered against him in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Assam, should be clubbed and transferred to Lucknow.
He later moved the High Court to quash the FIRs.
The High Court while dismissing the plea said the evidence has to be evaluated during trial.