Court rejects UP govt plea seeking withdrawal of prosecution against Rita Bahuguna Joshi in police assault case

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Lucknow, Feb 20 (PTI) A special court Saturday rejected a plea of the Uttar Pradesh government seeking withdrawal of prosecution against BJP MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi in connection with a case lodged against her for an assault on police personnel and causing damages to property during an agitation in 2015.

Holding the matter as serious, the special MP/MLA court fixed March 6 for framing of charges against the accused persons.

Besides Joshi, 17 other accused including state Congress leaders like Raj Babbar, Pradeep Jain, Ajai Rai, Nirmal Khatri, Rajesh Pati Tripathi and Madhu Sudan Mistri are also named in the charge sheet in the case.

Special judge P K Rai said the matter was serious and could not be allowed to be withdrawn as no public interest would be achieved if the withdrawal is allowed.

At the time of pronouncing the order, Joshi was present in the court.

Sub Inspector Pyarelal had lodged an FIR with Hazratganj police on August 17, 2015 against the accused persons.

It was alleged that while marching from Laxman Mela ground towards the legislative assembly, the police force was pelted with stones by the crowd, resulting in injuries to senior police and administrative officers.

Earlier, moving an application, the state counsel had submitted that the Uttar Pradesh government decided in public interest not to proceed further with the prosecution of Joshi and others and the court should allow its plea to withdraw the case. PTI COR SAB ZMN