The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government and the state police department on a plea challenging an order of Allahabad High Court order which had dismissed a petition seeking prosecution of chief minister Yogi Adityanath in an alleged hate speech case of 2007.

A bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra issued the notice while hearing a plea challenging Allahabad High Court’s decision in the case. The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, also issued a notice to the District Magistrate of Gorakhpur and posted the matter after four weeks for hearing.

Petitioner Rasheed Khan has challenged the High Court order which had upheld the Uttar Pradesh government’s refusal to grant sanction to prosecute Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

In 2008, two persons – Asad Hyat and Pervez – had filed a petition in Allahabad High Court seeking an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). It was alleged that the riots in Gorakhpur in 2007 were triggered by the speech of Yogi Adityanath.

Adityanath, who then represented Gorakhpur in Lok Sabha, was arrested and also remanded to police custody for 11 days.

The petition had sought an investigation against Adityanath under Sections 302, 307, 153A, 395 and 295 of the Indian Penal Code.

The case was then transferred to the CB-CID, which found in the course of investigation that the BJP leader’s voice in an audio recording was authentic.

On 1 February, the Allahabad High Court had dismissed the petition seeking action against Adityanath and eight other accused. Following this, one of the petitioners, Pervez, had moved the Supreme Court.

Earlier this year, the Allahabad High Court had upheld a sessions court order which had quashed a magistrate’s order taking cognizance of the chargesheet filed by the police in 2009.

The High Court had said the sessions court was right in holding that there was no prosecution sanction to initiate trial against the chief minister and others in the case. Several incidents of violence were reported in Gorakhpur on 27 January 2007, after the alleged hate speech of Yogi Adityanath.