[Breaking] Delhi Court grants bail to BJP leader advocate Ashwini Upadhyay in anti-muslim sloganeering case at Jantar Mantar [Read Order]

Court says except a mere assertion, nothing on record to show alleged hate speech happened either in the presence of Upadhyay or at the behest.
Ashwini Upadhyay and Patiala House Court
Ashwini Upadhyay and Patiala House Court

A Delhi court on Wednesday granted bail to advocate Ashwini Upadhyay arrested in connection with anti-muslim speeches made at Jantar Mantar on August 8.

Metropolitan Magistrate Udbhav Kumar Jain granted the relief to Upadhyay, noting 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, 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.

The order stated, "Indeed it is difficult time for everyone during this pandemic and serious view should be taken against those who violates the guidelines/restrictions to curb this pandemic, yet the offences as far as breach of these guidelines are concerned are bailable in nature, which can be dealt by the trial court on merits."

"Even during hearing, this Court has inquired from Ld. APP and so far, there is nothing against the accused in the alleged video. It is not the case where there chances that applicant/accused will abscond. 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," it observed.

As a result, Upadhyay was allowed bail subject to filing of personal bond of ₹50,000 with one surety in the like amount and subject to riders. He was directed to continue in cooperating with the ongoing investigations and join probe as and when summoned by the investigating officer.

"The applicant shall not leave the country without the permission of the court. He shall scrupulously appear at each and every stage of the proceedings before Court concerned so as not to cause any obstruction or delay to its progress," the order further directed.

The court clarified that its observations shall not have any bearing on the case's merits.

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