THE DELHI High Court on Friday granted bail to Preet Singh, one of the organisers of the event where anti-Muslim slogans were raised at Jantar Mantar last month.
On September 15, he had argued that the demand of a Hindu Rashtra would not amount to promoting enmity between between religious groups. Justice Mukta Gupta in the order said that it would not be appropriate for the court to express any opinion on whether the words spoken by Singh make out an offence under Section 153A IPC or not, as same is required to be gone into at the stage of charge or during trial.
The court further said that the interview given by Singh in which he mentioned Hindu Rashtra was not an isolated interview and was part of simultaneous conversation with number of speakers.
“Further large number of people gathered at the spot due to petitioner co-organizing the protest and therefore the petitioner would be liable for any offence committed in furtherance of the common object of the assembly. However, as per the video footages and the call records of the petitioner, the petitioner left the spot at around 2.00 PM whereafter the main provocative words/ slogans were shouted by the co-accused at around 4.00 PM,” the order reads.
Preet Singh’s counsel, advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, during the hearing of the bail application had submitted that if the court holds that the demand for Hindu Rashtra comes within the purview of Section 153A IPC, he will not press the bail application.
The court had then reprimanded Jain and told him that he was not at a platform where he was giving a speech. “You cannot say the same fact 4 times, 5 times. Show the judgement…. You say it in one sentence or you forcefully say it in 10 sentences, the sentence will be the same. What is this? Address like a counsel,” the court had 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 which were being made by participants at that time.
Singh’s counsel argued before the High Court argued that all the offences alleged against Singh except Section 153-A were baliable 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 held at Jantar Mantar was for demanding uniformity in laws in India.
Additional Public Prosecutor Tarang Srivastava had told the court that the accused persons in the case are covered by Section 34 IPC (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention). Srivastava had also told the court that Singh along with co-accused Pinky Chaudhary can be seen in a video footage giving an interview which itself is incendiary.
“It is not just that they are protesting for 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,” the prosecution counsel had told the court, while opposing the bail application.
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”, in the case.