New Delhi: The Karnataka High Court has granted anticipatory bail to a man who had allegedly compared Coronavirus with the Quran.
The 32-year-old Kusumadhara Kaniyoor had, amid the nationwide lockdown, had released a post, allegedly saying: “Quran is danger (sic) than corona to India due to Hubli incident.“
The Bellare police had registered a case against Kaniyoor under Sections 153-A and 505-2 of the IPC, following a complaint by Mahammed Saheer.
Justice K. Natarajan granted anticipatory bail, noting that there was no evidence to show that the petitioner’s post had promoted communal violence. The order states: “…at this stage, it cannot be said that, there is a prima-facie case made out against the petitioner for having committed any alleged offence, where it promotes the communal violence or tension between two groups of society. The alleged offences are not punishable with death or imprisonment for life. Therefore, considering the facts and circumstances of the case, if bail is granted by imposing certain conditions, no prejudice would be caused to the case of the prosecution.”
Advocate Sachin BS argued that the petitioner was innocent as there is no element of mens rea (guilty mind) to show that the petitioner had intended to cause any enmity between different classes of society. As the petitioner is a public servant, without obtaining permission, the question of filing the complaint and taking cognizance does not arise.
The bail was opposed by the government, which argued that since the date of registration of the complaint, the petitioner has been absconding. In the event that bail is granted, there is a possibility that he may abscond, which will make the investigation process difficult.
Read the order here;Karnataka_HC
– India Legal Bureau