Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday stayed criminal proceedings against Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt at a court in Mau district of Uttar Pradesh where a case was lodged during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections accusing him of having delivered an "inflammatory" speech.

The order was passed by Justice Bala Krishna Narayana on a petition filed by Dutt who had challenged the criminal proceedings initiated against him in pursuance of an FIR lodged at Dakshin Tola police station of Mau which was followed by filing of a chargesheet by the police.

Dutt's counsel Siddharth had alleged the case lodged against his client was "politically motivated" as the actor had been campaigning for Samajwadi Party in 2009 general elections while Uttar Pradesh was ruled by its arch rival Bahujan Samaj Party.   

He also alleged the police, while lodging the FIR under the Representation of People Act and the Indian Penal Code, had failed to produce a CD of the rally or to obtain statements of some of the people present at the rally though it was necessary as per the guidelines of the Election Commission.

Incidentally, a number of similar cases had been filed against Dutt in some other districts of Uttar Pradesh during the 2009 general elections.

BSP supremo and the then Chief Minister Mayawati had taken strong exception to Dutt's statement that he wanted to give her a "jaadu ki jhappi" (magical hug), a term that was popularized by blockbuster movie "Munnabhai MBBS" in which he had played the lead role.

(Agencies)

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