A month after he was booked allegedly hurting religious sentiments through a post on Facebook, Baljinder Singh Jindu, who had hit headlines earlier this year after his video clips on the alleged fleecing of customers by chemists went viral, was granted interim bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Jindu, who runs “Guru Nanak Modikhana”, a “non-profit” chemist shop near Old Session Chowk in Ludhiana, had been booked under Section 295 A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) on November 10 on the complaint of Arvind Walia, a Shiv Sena leader. The complainant had alleged that Jindu had spoken ill against Lord Shani, a Hindu deity.
Seeking anticipatory bail, his counsel, Advocate RS Bains, contended that Jindu had put up a phrase on Facebook in the context of money in the pocket, which is in common parlance in the countryside. He contended that all such utterances cannot be termed as offence under Section 295 (A) IPC status.
Bains contended that FIR was registered due to malice as Jindu started a medical store in the name of Guru Nanak where he and his team sell medicines on controlled rates. During the course of aforesaid business, the petitioner came to know about ongoing fraud in retailing of generic medicines, which were being sold at the rate of branded medicines. The unethical practice was exposed by the petitioner and the lodging of the FIR is the handiwork of medicine mafia.
Bains further contended that earlier also the petitioner was victimized by way of registration of FIR on August 20 for the same offence in which allegations were made that he did not use word “Shri” before the name of “Ram”, word “Mata” after the name of “Sita”, and word “Bhagat” before the name of “Hanuman”.
The bench of Justice Raj Mohan Singh, after hearing the matter, directed Jindu to join investigation December 16. “In the event of his arrest, he shall be granted interim bail subject to his furnishing bail bonds/surety bonds to the satisfaction of the arresting officer/investigating officer,” the court ordered.
Jindu on June 25 had went live on Facebook from his shop and displayed some tablets, syrups, masks, ointments, eye drops etc of branded companies, while flashing their ‘wholesale’ and ‘retail’ prices.
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