Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam acquitted in 2014 Chhat puja celebration case

Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam has been acquitted by a Mumbai court in a 2014 case. He was accused of organising an entertainment programme at Juhu beach when he only had the permission for a religious function.

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Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam (Photo: Facebook)
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam (Photo: Facebook)

A Mumbai court has acquitted Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam in a 2014 case in which he was accused of organising an entertainment programme at Juhu beach after obtaining permission only for a religious celebration. He has been acquitted after the prosecution failed to prove its case.

ALLEGATION

Sanjay Nirupama, who was heading an organisation called Bihari Fron, had organised Chhat puja celebrations in 2014 at Juhu beach.

The allegation against Nirupam was that he had been granted permission only to hold a religious event but it turned into an entertainment programme after singer Sonu Nigam was called to sing Bollywood songs.

Nirupam was charged under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and section 33 punishable under section 131 of the Bombay Police Act.

The FIR was registered on October 29, 2014, at the Santacruz police station. The FIR said the district collector had given permission for the programme while imposing certain conditions. These conditions were not followed, the FIR said.

Sanjay Nirupam was also issued a notice under section 149 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to prevent the offence, but this was breached, the police added.

COURT JUDGMENT

Nirupam pleaded not guilty in court. His statement was recorded.

Meanwhile, the police accepted in court that no representative of the District Collector Office had given a written complaint to the police station against Nirupam in the case. The police also said that they had not filed a complaint against any celebrity present at the event nor had they informed the district collector of the FIR. The police officer concerned also said no dance was performed on stage during the event.

The prosecution also failed to examine eyewitnesses to the incident.

The court observed that several actors and actresses live in the Juhu area and they too have the right to attend a Chhat puja programme as common citizens.

The judge concluded that no evidence had been brought on record by the prosecution to corroborate the allegations. “In the absence of concrete evidence, the accused is liable to be acquitted,” the judge said.