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SC to examine if court can impose bail condition of restricting person from using social media

The issue cropped up before the apex court which was hearing an appeal that said this was one of the conditions imposed in the May 20 order of the Allahabad High Court which had granted bail to an accused in an alleged sedition case.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: July 10, 2020 9:35:34 pm
Facebook, CBSE, Facebook CBSE partnership, Facebook AR, Facebook CBSE collaboration, Facebook CBSE course, Facebook AR couse, Facebook digital safety course The Allahabad High Court had imposed one of the conditions that the accused “shall not use social media till the conclusion of trial”.(Image: AP)

The Supreme Court Friday said it would consider the issue of whether a court can impose the condition of restricting a person from using social media while granting him bail.

The issue cropped up before the apex court which was hearing an appeal that said this was one of the conditions imposed in the May 20 order of the Allahabad High Court which had granted bail to an accused in an alleged sedition case.

The high court had imposed one of the conditions that the accused “shall not use social media till the conclusion of trial”.

Later on June 1, the high court had modified this condition to the extent that restraint on use of social media shall continue on him “for a period of 18 months or till the conclusion of trial, whichever is earlier”.

The plea has also raised other issues, including whether the order restraining the petitioner form using social media deprived him of his rights under the Constitution.

The matter came up for hearing through video-conferencing before a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde which agreed to hear the issue and sought response from Uttar Pradesh government on the plea.

During the hearing, the bench, also comprising Justices R S Reddy and A S Bopanna, observed that if participation of a person creates some mischief on social media then the court may say so that he should not use it.

To this, the counsel appearing for the petitioner said there was no allegations relating to use of social media against the accused.

The high court had granted bail to the accused against whom an FIR has been lodged in Uttar Pradesh under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including sections 124-A (sedition) and 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), and also under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

While granting bail in May, the high court had imposed several conditions on the accused including that he shall cooperate in the trial sincerely without seeking any adjournment and shall not use social media till conclusion of the trial.

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