The Supreme Court on Thursday denied relief from arrest to Delhi-based journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra who is facing charges of making derogatory remarks on the Konark Sun Temple. The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, said, “Your comments incite religious feelings. How are you entitled for bail,” reported news agency ANI.
Respecting the Supreme Court order, Mitra’s council said he won’t file a review petition. ” I won’t file a review petition in the case. Now it’s the police to take a decision whether to arrest my client or not. My client will join the investigation.”
Mitra was earlier arrested on September 20 by the Odisha police. He was then granted bail by a Delhi court. The court had also asked Mitra, to furnish a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh and one surety of the like amount on a plea moved by him.
Odisha police had earlier told the court that Mitra “gave unpalatable and irresponsible remarks on Konark Sun Temple by uploading his views on social media with an intention to outrage and to wound religious feeling which may create communal fraction”. The police said the “accused took his photograph along with some portion of Konark Sun Temple and he tweeted against the Odiya people”. The tweets were made on September 14.
A case was filed under various sections of Indian Penal Code, including 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on the ground of religion, grace, place of birth, residence, language etc) and 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs). If convicted, the accused may get a maximum of three-year jail term.
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