Supreme Court refuses to help legislator who holds court


New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday declined to interfere with the Allahabad High Court’s proceedings looking into allegations that a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator from Uttar Pradesh holds a parallel court and dispenses justice.

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A bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar let the high court deal with the matter as it was seized of a magisterial inquiry report into the activities of legislator Mohammad Iqbal, who represents Chandpur constituency.

As per the allegations levelled against Iqbal by a petitioner in the high court, he holds court every Sunday where people appear before him and after hearing the rival parties he gives his ruling. It has been alleged that he even levies “court fee” on the people who appear before him.

The matter came up before the apex court Thursday over a petition filed by the legislator, also known as ‘Thekedar MLA’.

He challenged the high court decision to consider April 15, 2010, a report of the district judge and a magistrate on his activities.

The chief justice of the high court had ordered the re-sealing of the report after reportedly describing it shocking.

A public interest ligiation (PIL) against Iqbal was filed in the high court by Sher Baz Khan.

Appearing for Iqbal in the apex court, senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi said the case against his client in the high court was, in fact, a private interest litigation inspired by a sense of retribution.

He told the apex court that the PIL was filed by Khan, who himself was facing 14 criminal cases involving cheating and impersonation.

Rohtagi told the apex court that the magisterial report on the basis of which the high court was proceeding against the legislator has not even been shown to him.

Rohtagi said that if the PIL was targeted at a particular person, the high court had to be careful to see if in the guise of public interest there is intent to unleash a private vendetta or personal grouse.