New Delhi: Amit Jogi, Janata Congress chief and son of former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi, has been released from jail after he was granted bail by the state high court.
Jogi was arrested by the state police on September 3 based on an FIR lodged by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Samira Paikra, alleging that he submitted fake documents as a candidate in 2013 in the Marwahi assembly seat reserved for tribals. News reports said that the police filed a case under sections 420, 467 and 471 (using forged documents) aginst Jobi based on the complaint.
Paikra was defeated by Amit Jogi in the 2013 assembly polls.
The sessions court, hearing Jogi’s bail plea a day later, denied it, and instead sent him to 14-day judicial remand. Jogi then approached the high court.
After hearing the arguments on September 25, the high court reserved its order. On October 4, the high court granted bail to Jogi.
News reports from Raipur said one of the arguments furnished by Jogi’s lawyer, Vivek Sharma, was that the high court had rejected a similar petition against him on an earlier occasion. Sharma called the case an instance of “political vendetta” by opponents.
Two days after Jogi was taken into custody, the BJP leader also filed an FIR against his father, Ajit Jogi, for allegedly acquiring a fake caste certificate to declare himself a tribal. A case of forgery was filed against the former chief minister as well.
In August, a high-level committee set up by the Bhupesh Baghel-led state government, on the recommendation of the high court to scrutinise the tribal status of the Jogis, had dismissed their claim of belonging to a scheduled tribe. Thereafter, the government revoked the certificates issued to the Jogis.
This is the second time a committee was formed to deal with the issue. Following a Supreme Court order in 2011, the state government had formed a committee to look into the matter, which dismissed Jogi’s claim in 2017. Thereafter, Jogi went to the state high court, which lead the court to ask the government to set up yet another committee. This committee, too, sought the cancellation of his tribal status.
Before he left Congress to start the Janata Congress in 2016, Jogi was, interestingly, the head of the party’s scheduled tribe cell.
Soon after the committee’s recommendation, Jogi, opposed to the Chhattisgarh chief minister Baghel, termed it an act of “political vendetta”.
“The committee has told me I am not a tribal but I must be the only casteless man in India today. They haven’t told me what caste am I,” he told reporters.