Delhi Court rejects bail pleas of three accused in the anti-Muslim sloganeering in Jantar Mantar rally

Court notes that the slogans were undemocratic and against the principles of secularism

anti muslims

The Patiala House Court has rejected the bail pleas of the three accused, Deepak Singh, Preet Singh and Vinod Sharma, who have been booked for hate speech in the Jantar Mantar rally case. The three allegedly called for the slaughter of Muslims on August 8 as part of a rally organised by Supreme Court lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay under the “Bharat Jodo Movement” against colonial-era laws in the country.

In an area that is supposedly a high security zone, just a few kilometres from the Parliament, slogans like “Jab M***e Kate Jaenge Ram Ram Chillaayenge” were chanted that have been recorded and widely circulated online. The Delhi Police had filed an FIR in the matter against “unknown persons” and subsequently arrested Ashwini Upadhyay and five others (including Preet, Vinod and Deepak).

Deepak Singh, is said to be president of an outfit called Hindu Force, and Vinod Sharma heads an outfit called Sudarshan Vahini. According to Indian Express, they were previously detained and by afternoon on Tuesday August 10, they were formally arrested.

Undemocratic and uncalled for remarks

The Metropolitan Magistrate Udbhav Kumar Jain perused the video footage of the accused persons and held that it does not support their arguments. He played the alleged video footages in open court and observed that accused Deepak Singh and Preet Singh were seen together making “scathing remarks which are undemocratic and uncalled for from a citizen of this country where principles like Secularism hold the value of basic feature imbibed in the Constitution.”

“Freedom to express oneself is indeed allowed to be enjoyed by the citizens to the fullest possible extent, yet with every right there is a corresponding duty attached. The principle behind Section 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, etc) IPC is to preserve religious/communal harmony and it is the duty of every citizen that while he enjoys his right to express himself, he preserves religious harmony. This indeed is the positive aspect of Secularism”, read the order.

The Investigating Officer vehemently opposed the bail pleas submitting that the release of the three applicants could be prejudicial in maintaining public tranquillity and would further create a serious law and order situation.

The court also opined that Deepak, Preet and Vinod were not eligible for bail like co-accused Ashwini since, “The other accused (released on bail) however, was neither seen in any of the alleged video clippings nor it was prima facie seen that any such act was committed at his behest. Even from the CDR, other accused (released on bail) were present on the spot only till 11 AM; On prima facie perusal of record, the present applicant/accused stands on a different footing from the other accused (released on bail).”

The order may be read here: 

Ashwini Upadhyay out on bail

On August 11, Magistrate Udbhav Kumar Jain had granted relief to Upadhyay, noting that as far as the allegation under Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code goes. The court said, “Except for a mere assertion there was nothing on record to show that the alleged hate speech to promote enmity between different groups was done in the presence or at the behest of the applicant/accused.”

Magistrate also firmly believed and recorded in his order that Ashwini will not abscond and that, “Conspiracy is no doubt hatched behind closed doors and that the investigation in the present matter is at nascent stage that however, does not imply that liberty of a citizen be curtailed on mere assertions and apprehension.”

Senior Advocates Vikas Singh, Sidharth Luthra, Pradeep Rai, and Gopal Shankar Narayan appeared for Upadhyay and argued that he was not present at the spot when communal slogans were raised. Vikas Singh went on to say that his arrest was a blatant abuse of power by the Police and the Police cannot apprehend anyone indiscriminately. While arguing, Singh also contended that Ashwini Upadhyay had a credible standing in the Bar and that his arrest was against the rule of law. “He was arrested just to show the public that some action has been taken,” he had argued.

The order may be read here: 



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