The Allahabad High Court on Friday stayed the arrest of Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in connection with an FIR lodged against his supporters for their alleged misbehaviour with election officials in Uttar Pradesh's Etawah district.
The order was passed by a division bench comprising Justice Ravindra Singh and Justice N A Moonis on a writ petition filed by Yadav. The SP chief had submitted that though he had not been named in the FIR, which was dated May 11 and lodged in Chaubai police station, he feared that out of 'political rivalry', the Mayawati government may arrest him for being present at the spot at the time of the incident.
In the FIR, the SP supremo's supporters have been accused of having stormed into a polling booth under Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency, where re-polling was being held, and misbehaving with election officials.
The SP supporters have been booked under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 332 (voluntary causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 131 of Representation of People Act (penalty for disorderly conduct in or near polling stations).
The court, while staying Yadav's arrest, directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file its counter-affidavit within ten days on the allegations made by the petitioner.