A minister in Yogi Adityanath's Uttar Pradesh government has been accused of fleeing from a court in Kanpur after a guilty verdict in a 1991 case, before the quantum of sentence could be decided.
The minister, Rakesh Sachan, who heads the medium, small and micro enterprises and khadi departments in UP, has denied the allegations.
Mr Sachan, who joined the BJP from the Congress just before the recent state elections, was found guilty on Saturday in a case of keeping an illegal weapon.
Opposition leaders including Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav alleged Mr Sachan fled from the court before he could be taken into custody and before arguments on punishment could begin.
The Kanpur Police confirmed late on Saturday night that a complaint had been received from officials of the court, but did not say whether the complaint has been converted into a police case against the minister.
"There is much that needs to be examined. We have been trying to get in touch with all stakeholders. We are taking our enquiry forward. Once the enquiry is complete, we will proceed according to the law," Kanpur senior police officer AP Tiwari told reporters on Saturday night.
Amid the controversy, Mr Sachan tweeted photos of him attending an official meeting in a neighbouring district last night and today claimed the allegations against him were false and politically motivated.
"I have never run away in my life. These are all baseless cases against me. I reached the court a little before 11 am and requested for the case to be expedited since I had other engagements. The lawyer said it would take time and I requested him to put in an exemption application. I then left. I was at a function then for four hours and also attended other engagements. I then started hearing these allegations," Mr Sachan told reporters in Kanpur today.
"Let the CCTV footage in the court be examined. I will go to court tomorrow and present my side of the story through my lawyers," Mr Sachan added.