The Bombay High Court granted temporary relief to a Muslim man who was booked by the Mumbai Police after he allegedly prepared and posted a video clip on social media claiming that he was assaulted by members of Tablighi Jamaat and they had spitted on him.
A single judge bench of justice Sarang V Kotwal on Monday was hearing through videoconference a plea by the man, who had urgently sought pre-arrest bail in connection with the First Information Report (FIR) lodged against him by Tablighi Jamaat members at Shahu Nagar Police Station in Mahim.
The FIR was lodged under Section 295 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), which provides punishment for destroying, damaging or defiling a place of worship or sacred object with intent to insult the religion of any class of persons.
He was also booked for criminal defamation and other penal provisions based on complaint made by religious group members.
As per the FIR, the allegations made by the accused man in the video were false and he had deliberately made such allegations to hurt religious feelings and has caused rift in the society.
However, advocate Vishal Saxena, representing the man, submitted that his client was assaulted and he had lodged a non-cognizable case at the same police station on April 21. Saxena argued that the accused man was falsely implicated by the police and he should be granted pre-arrest bail.
Advocate SV Gavand, appearing for the police, sought to file a detailed response to the pre-arrest bail plea.
While allowing time to police to file a reply, Justice Kotwal granted temporary protection from arrest to the man and noted, “Considering the nature of allegations in the background of the non-cognizable case filed by the applicant himself, at this stage, I am inclined to grant ad-interim relief to the applicant till the next date”.
The court further directed that in the event of arrest of the man, till next date, he is directed to be released on bail on furnishing personal bond of Rs 25,000. The court also directed the man to cooperate with investigation and attend police station as and when called and posted further hearing on May 20.
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