Lakhimpur Kheri: BJP MLA Arvind Giri who had partied with friends at Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) in 2007, has now been served a non-bailable warrant by the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) in Lakhimpur Kheri.
The MLA’s driver Arjun Kumar has also been served a warrant.
Giri and his relatives had “violated DTR guidelines while having a party inside the Kishanpur range of the reserve forest”.
Advocate Sanjay Rai, representing Dudhwa officials, said that Giri, a five-time MLA and the current legislator from Gola in Lakhimpur Kheri, had failed to turn up in earlier court summons.
ACJM Mona Singh has now directed Kheri SP Sanjeev Suman to “arrest the accused and produce them at the next hearing on July 28”.
Incidentally, in a recent directive, the Allahabad High Court (HC) had asked the lower court to complete the trial proceedings within the next two months.
“A chargesheet against the MLA was filed in court in 2009. But he never appeared. He once took a stay from the HC and then the case file disappeared from the court’s record room. The file was reconstituted and summons were served but again he did not turn up. Now, the HC has given specific directions to ensure speedy trial of this case,” Rai said.
An FIR was registered against Giri under multiple sections of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act at Bheera police station in 2007.
Eight separate criminal cases have been registered against the legislator till date, Rai added.
The 61-year-old politician, however, claimed that the state had withdrawn five of the other pending criminal cases.
“I was a Samajwadi Party MLA in 2007, and this (Dudhwa) case was politically motivated. My relatives were in Kishanpur and had a tiff with the then ranger. Subsequently, two FIRs were registered against me, my kin and my driver. The state had withdrawn the criminal cases against me before the pandemic. The courts were closed then and so now the warrant has been issued in this one, maybe due to some miscommunication and also negligence of my advocate. I will personally appear before the court and put forward my case,” Giri said.
Kheri SP Sanjeev Suman, meanwhile, said, “We will take appropriate action as per the directions of the court and ensure the accused are produced before it.”