The history professor of Hindu College of Delhi University,Ratan Lal, has been granted bail in connection with the social media post that question claims of a ‘Shivling’ found inside Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque complex.
While granting bail to the professor who was arrested last night , the court said that “The feeling of hurt felt by an individual cannot represent the entire group or community and any such complaint regarding hurt feelings has to be seen in its context considering the entire spectrum of facts.
The court has further ordered Prof. Lal to strictly refrain himself from posting anything on the social media”which may incite or result in similar controversy again.
Professor Lal was arrested by Delhi cyber police station on the charges of promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion and committing “acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”.
Prof.Lal was presented before the court this afternoon and his advocate moved a bail application.
The Delhi police had asked for judicial remand of 2 week to investigate the professor in the case, after claiming that they have received six complaints against him so far.
As expected the professor was defending his posts but the police said “It was not expected from such an educated person.
The counsel for the professor said that it is abuse of the law that the jails will now be thronged by intellectuals”. The counsel was surprised that there was no case that should have been built and here an FIR too has been filed.
The counsel has asked for a departmental enquiry for arresting the professor without serving any notice. He further added that this was mere post and could have been deleted with a click.
The police defended their action by saying that we cannot portray wrong message to society by encouraging such acts and it was just done to prevent the accused and many others from committing further offences of posting material that has a nuisance value.
The defendant argued that this post did not incite any violence, and how could the police invoke Sec 153 A (promoting enmity between two groups) against him?” The counsel further questioned that how can someone be held responsible just because the tolerance level of ceratin section in society is low.
The professor through his counsel said India is a democratic country and we have right to express what we feel. Where is the talked about Freedom of expression in this case? This FIR ought to be quashed,” Mr Lal’s counsel argued while seeking bail.
The FIR against Mr Lal was registered Tuesday night following a police complaint by a Delhi-based lawyer named Vineet Jindal who said that the post was “derogatory, inciting and provocative tweet on the Shivling”.The complainant had further said that post is “instigating and provoking”, as the issue is very sensitive in nature and is pending before the court.
Talking about his own post earlier, professor Lal had said, “In India, if you speak about anything, someone or the other’s sentiment will be hurt. So this is nothing new. I am a historian and have made several observations. As I wrote them down, I have used very guarded language in my post and still this. I will defend myself.”
The bail order of professor Ratan Lal