January 24, 2021 12:56:42 am
Granting anticipatory bail to an accused in a case filed for “hurting religious sentiments”, the Allahabad High Court has observed that irrational and indiscriminate arrests are a gross violation of human rights.
On November 2, four men belonging to the Khudai Khidmatgar — a Delhi-based organisation — were booked after two of them allegedly offered namaz at Nand Mahal temple in UP’s Mathura district. One of them, Faisal Khan, was arrested from Delhi after the FIR was filed while the others had been identified as Chand Mohammed, Alok Ratan and Nilesh Gupta.
Mohammed was granted anticipatory bail by the High Court in an order passed on Tuesday. Faisal Khan was granted bail on December 18.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Ali Qambar Zaidi, the counsel for Mohammed, had submitted that “only on the basis of photographs which went viral, the applicant cannot be said to have the intention to disturb the communal harmony of the society”.
The additional government advocate, appearing for the state, opposed the plea saying “that in view of the seriousness of the allegations made against the applicant, he is not entitled to grant of anticipatory bail”.
Observing that it is unclear when the police will arrest Mohammed, the single-judge bench of Justice Siddharth said, “There is no definite period fixed for the police to arrest an accused…”
“Courts have repeatedly held that arrest should be the last option for the police and it should be restricted to those exceptional cases where arresting the accused is imperative or his custodial interrogation is required,” the judge said.
“In the case of Joginder Kumar vs. State of Uttar Pradesh AIR 1994 SC 1349, the apex court hasreferred to the third report of the National Police Commission, wherein it is mentioned that arrests by the police in India are one of the chief source of corruption in the police,” said the order.
“The report suggested that, by and large, nearly 60 percent of the arrests were either unnecessary or unjustified and that such unjustified police action accounted for 43.2 percent of expenditure of the jails,” read the order. The judge further said personal liberty is a precious fundamental right and should be curtailed only when it is imperative. The court refused to express any opinion on the merits of the case and granted anticipatory bail.
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