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Dwarka court grants interim bail to Congress leader Pawan Khera

The Dwarka court in Delhi on Thursday granted interim bail to Congress Spokesperson Pawan Khera, who was arrested by Assam Police from Delhi Airport this morning over his comment against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Following the Supreme Court orders, the Jurisdictional Magistrate at Dwarka granted interim bail to Khera on furnishing a bond of Rs 30,000.

Earlier in the day, the Bench of Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice M.R. Shah and Justice P.S. Narasimha had ruled that Khera be released on interim bail on production before the Jurisdictional Magistrate at Delhi till the next date of hearing, which was fixed at February 28.

The Apex Court further issued notice to the States of Uttar Pradesh and Assam, which have registered FIRs against him, on the writ petition filed by Khera seeking consolidation of the FIRs.

The top court of the country recorded in the order the undertaking given by Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Khera, that the Congress Ieader would tender unconditional apology for his statement.

The Bench specially assembled at 3 pm to hear the matter after Senior Advocate Singhvi mentioned the matter thi afternoon.

Singhvi informed the CJI that Khera was about to board a flight at 11 AM from the Delhi airport, but he was deplaned.

Singhvi said that offences under Section 153A, 153B, 295, 505 of the Indian Penal Code have been invoked against him, adding that he did not personally approve of the statements made by Khera.

However, he said that the statements, whatever they were, should not lead to arrest.

Singhvi further stated that Khera later clarified on Twitter that he made a genuine mistake regarding the statement about the Prime Minister.

He said there was no prior notice by the police under Section 41A CrPC before the arrest and that the offences invoked were not attracted with respect to the statement.

He said since the remarks were made in the heat of a debate, invoking Sections 153A, 153B and 295A against a political statement was wrong.

Singhvi prayed for a direction of ad-interim release and said Khera would cooperate with the investigation.

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati submitted that the arrest has been recorded and the proceedings to produce him before the Magistrate were underway.

The ASG said that Khera should invoke ordinary remedies available under the CrPC instead of directly approaching the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution.

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