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The Supreme Court today pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government for not taking a clear stand on the issue of restoration of provision for anticipatory bail in the state that was scrapped in 1976. The apex court was hearing a petition filed by a lawyer seeking restoration of the provision of anticipatory bail in Uttar Pradesh as its absence is "discriminatory" to the people of the state. The top court had in 2008 recommended to Uttar Pradesh government to take appropriate steps and bring an ordinance to restore the provision for anticipatory bail in the state. The state government had in 2010, brought an amendment in the law to include the provision for anticipatory bail. During the hearing today, the top court asked the state government as to why it has not placed before the Assembly 'The Code of Criminal Procedure Uttar Pradesh (Amendment) Bill, 2010' after the President had withheld the assent and sent it back in September 2011. "You (UP) want to create some problem or the other.
Are you willing to act or not," a bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswar Rao said. "Why the government did not discharge its constitutional duties by getting the proposal passed in the Assembly with amendment," the bench asked and directed the state to make its stand clear on the issue within two weeks. The top court also asked the counsel representing Uttar Pradesh to inform the secretary of Law Department of the state to be present in the court on the next date of hearing so that he could explain the status. It also asked the Centre's counsel to obtain instructions on the issue. The bench was hearing a petition by lawyer Sanjeev Bhatnagar who has said that after the President had sent back the amendment in September 2011, the state has not done anything in the matter. In 2010, the state government had brought Amendment Act to restore provision of section 438 of the CrPC which deals with anticipatory bail. In August 2010, the state Assembly had passed the Amendment Act to restore the provision.