The Allahabad Special MP/MLA court on Thursday issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya in a case of forgery registered against him, and also directed law enforcement agencies to arrest Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi.
Acting tough against a number of politicians for disregarding its directives, the court issued the order against Joshi as she had failed to appear before it in connection with a case of brick-batting and violation of the model code of conduct registered in 2010.
The court also issued an arrest warrant against another minister in the Yogi Adityanath-led government, Swami Prasad Maurya, in a case of violation of the model code of conduct, and asked the police to ensure the arrest of former BSP MLA Ravindra Tripathi in a case registered against him during the 2012 Assembly polls.
In the case registered against Deputy CM Maurya and others at Mohabbatpur Painsa police station in Kaushambi district on September 22, 2008, it has been alleged that he, along with the other accused, had formed a Maa Durga Committee, got a letterhead printed in its name and collected money from the public illegally. The state government has moved a withdrawal application in the case, which is yet to be withdrawn.
The arrest warrant against Joshi was issued on Wednesday as she had failed to appear in the special court despite being summoned repeatedly in the eight-year-old case registered against her at Wazirganj police station in the old city area of Lucknow. Then a senior Congress leader, Joshi was accused of violating Section 144 and entering the Vidhan Sabha forcefully when the Bahujan Samaj Party was in power. She was also accused of misbehaving with the police force. Till now, 12 hearings have been held in the case.
Pawan Kumar, Special judge of special MP/MLA court ordered the district police to produce Joshi and her aide Meera Singh in the court. Notably, the state government had submitted an application to have the case withdrawn. Investigation officer Arun Kumar had filed a charge sheet against Joshi accusing her of hampering legislative work and facilitating brick batting in 2010.
The special court issued a warrant against the minister and former BSP state chief Swami Prasad Maurya in a case of violation of the code of conduct registered against him on December 24, 2103, in Padrauna, in Kushinagar district. He is accused of distributing food and cash among voters on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Karpoori Thakur to woo the voters. The court fixed the next hearing on December 12, 2018.
Moreover, the court has ordered the Bhadohi police to produce former BSP candidate Ravindra Tripathi on November 5. Tripathi is also facing a case for alleged violation of the code of conduct during the 2012 Assembly elections in UP.