The Karnataka High Court on Friday granted bail to Congress MLA from Pulikeshi Nagar, Akhanda Srinivas Murthy’s nephew P Naveen, whose purported derogatory social media post allegedly triggered violence in areas of east Bengaluru and an attack on DJ Halli police station in August this year.
While Naveen was granted bail on October 14, he will only be released after he furnishes a bond of Rs 2 lakh.
The court also directed the Congress MLA’s nephew to not leave Bengaluru, appear at the jurisdictional police station on the 1st of every month, not tamper with the evidence and not make similar posts on social media.
The FIR registered against Naveen, on the basis of a complaint by Firdos Pasha, a resident of DJ Halli, is among the seven FIRs filed by Bengaluru Police at DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations in east Bengaluru. Three people had died in the police firing on the night of August 11.
Opposing his bail, the prosecution argued that Naveen’s remarks on social media had triggered the violence in which two police stations and 57 police vehicles were burnt while several properties were vandalised.
“There are seven cases registered against the petitioner-accused and he is a habitual offender. There is a threat to the life of the petitioner himself if he is released on bail,” the Special Public Prosecutor said.
“There is prima facie material as against the petitioner-accused for having involved in a serious offence which may affect peace and tranquility of the society as a whole if he is released on bail,” the prosecution added.
While listening to the arguments, Justice BA Patil said that rejecting the bail on merely these grounds would affect the fundamental rights of the accused. While granting conditional bail, the Patil also observed that the post was withdrawn immediately and the police investigation was completed.
The counsel for the petitioner stated that the allegedly derogatory comments were posted without an intention to hurt religious sentiments. He only downloaded the same which was available across electronic media and forwarded it. He withdrew the remarks on the same day, the counsel argued.
Naveen had moved the High Court after the trial court had rejected his bail application recently.
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