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Demand for Hindu Rashtra does not amount to promoting enmity between religious groups, argues accused in Jantar Mantar hate speech case

Additional Public Prosecutor Tarang Srivastava told the court that the accused are covered under IPC Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: September 15, 2021 8:29:58 pm
On August 11, the lower court had granted bail to former BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhayay, the organiser of the protest against “colonial-era laws”. (File photo)

The demand of a Hindu Rashtra would not amount to promoting enmity between religious groups, one of the organisers of the event, where anti-Muslim slogans were raised at Jantar Mantar last month, contended before the Delhi High Court Wednesday while seeking bail in the case registered by Delhi Police.

“I am submitting with the greatest sense of responsibility that if ladyship holds today that a demand for Hindu Rashtra comes within the purview of Section 153A (IPC), I will not press my bail application,” advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing accused Preet Singh, argued before the bench of Justice Mukta Gupta.

“If demand for Hindu Rashtra in a democratic setup amounts to promoting enmity between different sets of people, I will not press this bail application. I will satisfy my lords through judicial precedents. Bombay High Court in the case of Saamna newspaper has upheld the demand…,” continued Jain.

Justice Gupta reserved her order on the bail application. The court also reprimanded Jain and told him that he was not on a platform where he was giving a speech. “You cannot say the same fact four-five times. Show the judgment…. You say it in one sentence or forcefully say it in 10 sentences, the sentence will be the same. What is this? Address like a counsel,” the court told Singh’s counsel.

On August 27, the lower court had dismissed Singh’s bail application saying that he not only voluntarily organised the event but also actively participated and provided support to the views and contents of inflammatory speeches made by participants.

Jain argued before the HC that all the offences alleged against Singh except Section 153A were bailable and that no statement of his would come under the purview of the provision. He also submitted that Singh had left the place when the slogans were raised and that the meet was for demanding uniformity of laws in India.

Additional Public Prosecutor Tarang Srivastava told the court that the accused are covered under IPC Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention). Srivastava told the court that Singh along with co-accused Pinky Chaudhary can be seen in a video giving an interview which itself is incendiary.

Opposing the bail application, Srivastava told the court, “It is not just that they are protesting for the creation of a Hindu Rashtra but also that people have to run away from the country and subsequently Pinky Chaudhary also starts submitting incendiary statements in that interview.”

On August 11, the lower court had granted bail to Supreme Court lawyer and former BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhayay, the organiser of the protest against “colonial-era laws”. Upadhayay is the only accused who has been granted bail so far in the case.

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