Jantar Mantar hate speech case: Delhi HC grants bail to accused Preet Singh

The district court had denied him bail in August after ruling that he was actively involved in incendiary speeches against the minority community

Bail GrantedImage Courtesy:indiatvnews.com

Justice Mukta Gupta granted bail to Preet Singh, who allegedly raised inflammatory and anti-Muslim slogans at Jantar Mantar, on August 8. The court noted that he was not needed for custodial interrogation any longer and could be released on bail.

Without indulging in the issue of whether or not Singh was involved in hate speech, the court noted in its order that as per the video footage and the call records of Singh, he had left the spot at around 2:00 P.M., whereafter the main provocative words/slogans were shouted by the co-accused at around 4:00 P.M.

During the bail hearing, Preet’s lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain, had argued that if the demand for a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu nation) comes within the ambit of hate speech laws that intend to hurt the sentiments of a particular community, he will not press the bail application.

Tarang Srivastava, the Additional Public Prosecutor, representing the state, had opposed the bail application stating that Preet Singh was a co-organiser of the event and is thus responsible for the incitement which continued till the evening. He pointed out that even in an interview given by Singh along with co-accused Pinki Chaudhary, he used inciting words against the Muslim community.

To this argument, the high court said, “the interview by the petitioner was not an isolated interview and was part of simultaneous conversation with a number of speakers. Further large numbers of people gathered at the spot due to the petitioner co-organizing the protest and therefore the petitioner would be liable for any offence committed in furtherance of the common object of the assembly.”

However, Justice Gupta relied on his call records to observe that Preet had already left the spot before the Islamophobic sloganeering started.

On August 27, the district court refused to grant him bail on grounds that prima facie, there was material to believe that there had been active participation by Preet in his individual capacity and also as the main organizer of the Jantar Mantar event in spite of the denial of permission by the Delhi Police and total disregard to Covid­-19 protocol issued by the government.

Additional Sessions Judge Anil Antil of the Patiala House court had said, “Given the stature of the applicant, it was expected that he ought to have exercised his authority, in these circumstances, and prevented participants from erring such inflammatory opinions in the larger interest of the public/Committee welfare. On the other hand, the applicant is clearly seen actively participating in the incendiary speeches along with his other associates.”

Before this, on August 12, the Metropolitan Magistrate, Udbhav Kumar Jain, had observed that accused persons 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.” The MM had also rejected his bail plea.

On August 8, vile slogans like Mu*** (slang term for Muslims) kaate jaaenge, Ram Ram chilaenge” (Muslims will be slaughtered in the name of Lord Ram), “s**r kaate jaaenge, Ram Ram chilaenge” (Pigs will be slaughtered in the name of Lord Ram), and “Hindustan mein rehna hoga, Jai Shri Ram kehna hoga” (If you want to live in India, one must say long live Lord Ram) were raised by a group of people.

After the Delhi Police registered an FIR, 6 people, including supreme court lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, were arrested on August 10. As per a SabrangIndia report, the next day, on August 11, Magistrate Udbhav Kumar Jain had granted relief to Upadhyay, while saying, “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.”

Other people booked and arrested for this event are Deepak Singh, Vinod Sharma and Pinky Chaudhary. While dismissing Chaudhary’s bail plea, Additional Sessions Judge, Anil Antil, had said, “applicant’s interview is impregnated with high octane communal barbs, laced with inflammatory, insulting and threatening gestures, ex facie indicative of the calculative design on the part of the applicant to promote hatred and ill will amongst other section of the community”.

The HC order may be read here:


Preet Singh involved in incendiary speech: Delhi court denies bail
Delhi Court rejects bail pleas of three accused in the anti-Muslim sloganeering in Jantar Mantar rally
Court reminds hate mongers, India is not a Taliban State
Jantar Mantar rally: BJP leader, SC lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay among six arrested
Anti-Muslim hate speech at Delhi rally calls for communal violence



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