Lucknow: In a major setback to Uttar Pradesh Police, a Muzaffaranagar court Thursday rejected and returned a charge sheet filed against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, officials said.
The magistrate returned the charge sheet with directions to police that the case should be re-investigated as there were many lacuna in the sections slapped on Shah, they said.
The rejection left the Akhilesh Yadav government red-faced as the BJP state unit has alleged that the Samajwadi Party government added new sections - some serious and non-bailable - against Shah out of political vendetta.
BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpai told IANS it now been proved beyond doubt that frightened at the prospect of losing the bypolls scheduled for Sep 13, the Samajwadi Party stooped to very low levels.
"It has been reduced to rubble in the Lok Sabha polls and is on the verge of being decimated again in the bypolls. With this desperation, it somehow wants to frame political adversaries," he said.
Police Wednesday filed the charge sheet against Shah in Muzaffarnagar over a speech he delivered during the Lok Sabha election campaign.
Shah reportedly delivered the speech April 4. He was then booked by police for breaching prohibitory orders under Section 144. He was at that time in charge of the BJP poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh.
Now, more Sections - 153(a), 295(a) and 505 of the Indian Penal Code - have been added to the charge sheet filed by Nai Mandi police of Muzaffarnagar.
Under these sections, Shah has been accused of using foul words against a community and of trying to disrupt communal harmony, threatening the state and the people.
If the charges are proved to be true, the BJP president could face a prison term of three years.
The returning of the charge sheet by the additional chief judicial magistrate III is now set to become an issue in the Sep 13 bypolls for 11 assembly and one parliamentary constituencies.
Meanwhile, home department officials said police would be asked to re-investigate the matter thoroughly and submit a new charge sheet.