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The Allahabad High Court today deferred till October 25 its hearing on a PIL seeking transfer of the investigation into the Jawahar Bagh incident of Mathura to the CBI, even as one of the petitioners alleged that the Uttar Pradesh government's counter affidavit was "vague, false and incorrect".
More than 20 people, including two police officials, were killed in violence that erupted during an eviction drive in June following a court order and a huge cache of explosives, arms and ammunition were recovered from the sprawling public park which had remained under illegal occupation by followers of a self-styled cult leader Ram Vriksh Yadav.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D B Bhosale and Justice Yashwant Varma deferred hearing on the PILs on account of non-appearance of Advocate General Vijay Bahadur Singh, who has been appearing on behalf of the state government in the matter.
Upon coming out of the court room, lead petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay charged, "The state government has been, on each and every date of hearing, coming up with new tricks to protect senior leaders of the ruling Samajwadi Party whose role in facilitating the land grab is under scanner."
Earlier, in his rejoinder filed before the court, Upadhyay contended that the state government "does not have answers to questions raised in the petition" and hence "it has filed a vague, false and incorrect reply".
Upadhyay also sought to underscore that the state government filed its counter affidavit only on September 30 "although the court had directed the respondents to do the same by September 22".
He added that the state government was yet to comply with order dated July 7 whereby it had been directed by the court to furnish copies of charge sheets filed against more than 100 people in connection with the violence at Mathura.
Responding to the state government's contention that the PILs, including the one filed by Upadhyay, were "politically motivated", the BJP leader submitted that he was previously associated with India Against Corruption and the Anna Hazare agitation besides having been a founding member of the Aam Aadmi Party and that he had "filed this PIL in personal capacity".
Upadhyay also assailed the state government's submission that a judicial probe had already been ordered into the entire episode at Mathura, saying "the scope of the one-member judicial commission and a CBI investigation are entirely different".
He also claimed that wife and brother of Mukul Dwivedi, the Superintendent of Police who was among those killed in the violence that erupted during the eviction drive, have alleged that he was made a "scapegoat" and favoured a CBI inquiry into his death.