A 26-year-old man arrested on October 12 from Pune for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and other leaders on social media was granted bail on Monday by a metropolitan magistrate’s court. Shrishail Khajje was granted bail on a personal bond, along with conditions including attending the office of the Cyber police station once a month for an hour till the chargesheet is filed.
The Mumbai Police had opposed bail to Khajje stating that the probe in the case is still on. The police had submitted that a Facebook profile ‘Appa Kesarjavalgekar’ allegedly belonging to Khajje had posts abusing several political leaders from the state, including some women leaders. An FIR was registered on October 9 under sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act. Khajje, a resident of Osmanabad, was working in Pune from where he was arrested.
His bail plea filed through lawyer Shriganesh Sawalkar stated that the material investigation in the case was completed and his further custody was not required. The application also said that Khajje would lose his job if his bail is rejected stating that his financial condition is poor and his parents work as farmers in Osmanabad. His lawyer also argued that he had nothing to do with the abusive post. It was also submitted that Khajje was not affiliated or connected with any political party or leader. Khajje further claimed that the posts could be the handiwork of a professional hacker.
“It appears that mobile handset has already been seized. At present, due to Covid-19 pandemic and considering the requirements of investigation, personal interrogation of the accused is of no use at this stage,” the court said. The court also considered that there were no past criminal antecedents and he was dependent on his job for his livelihood.
The Mumbai Police have said that there were over a lakh fake social media accounts including bots which were used to upload defamatory content against Maharashtra government, political leaders including Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the Mumbai Police in connection with actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death and the Palghar lynching incident.
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