A local court slammed the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari for seeking withdrawal of prosecution in an assault case. He has been charged for assaulting public servants and causing damage to public property in 2001. The court said that Bukhari cannot take advantage of being the Shahi Imam. Not only did the court refuse to quash the case but also imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 towards Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for wasting the Court’s time. Syed Ahmed Bukhari had moved a petition against the court for its May 2016 order rejecting the prosecutor’s order under section 321 of CrPC. Bukhari had also said that his Z-plus security would cause problems if he faces trial – this contention too was rejected by the court. “It does not appear to be tenable because recently some senior leaders of the Opposition party, namely Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who were summoned as accused in the National Herald case, and who had much higher degree of security threat had appeared before the court of law without any kind of inconvenience being caused to any one,” additional sessions judge Lokesh Kumar Sharma said. The court also gave examples late P V Narshimha Rao and LK Advani and said that the trials had not caused any tensions then, according to a Hindustan Times report.
The judge said that it seems that the petitioner was trying to take advantage of being the head priest of Jama Masjid and was trying to pressurise the court by saying that the trial would cause communal tension and unrest. The court had filed a non-bailable warrent against Bukhari in 2013 for not appearing before court for the violation of model code of conduct during 2007 UPA Assembly polls.