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Kerala High Court: PC George granted bail in hate speech case

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The former Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) PC George has been granted bail on Friday  by the Kerala High Court in the two separate case of hate speech cases registered against him. The MP had made some hate remarks against the Muslim community.

In the order, the Justice Gopinath P said,

The petitioner is to be released on bail subject to the condition that he shall not make any speech or statement which shall result in commission of any offence under 153A or 295A of the IPC. If the petitioner violates any of the conditions, it is open to the prosecution to move this court to cancel his bail,” the Court directed.

The MLA was accused in two cases where he had spoken against the Muslim Community while delivering public speech.

In the first case…MLA PC George was arrested for delivering a speech at Ananthapuri Hindu Maha Sammelan on April 29. After the speech was over, the state police received number of complaints that were regarding the use of objectionable words and phrases used against the objecting to some incendiary statements against the Muslim Community.

The MLA was charged for promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, and race under section 153A of IPC. He was also charged under section 295A of IPC that talks about the deliberate and malicious act that are intended to outrage religious feeling by insulting religious beliefs.  

However, the very same day, the Judicial First Class Magistrate in Thiruvananthapuram granted him bail after he was represented by his advocate Sasthamangalam C Ajithkumar.

Ideally, the MLA should have understood the repurcussions of doing the mistake of hate speech but he couldn’t and thus on May 10,a second case was registered against him as the police in Palarivattom in Kochi registered a suo motu case against George.

He was again charged under the similar section of 153 A and 295A of the IPC for re speaking on communal lines for delivering a speech at temple in Vennala on communal lines.

MLA George moved to the Kerala High Court which finally granted him an interim bail on May 23 after his case was presented by the Senior Advocate P Vijayabhanu, instructed by advocate Geo Paul.

High Court however, has clarified that the interim bail does not affect the right of prosecution to move against the cancellation of bail granted to MLA George by the Magistrate in the first case.

As the luck may have it, the Judicial First Class Magistrate in Thiruvananthapuram after knowning that the MLA had violated the bail conditions and delivered a speech just a week later cancelled his bail.

The MLA was then, subsequently remanded to judicial custody for 14 days. This made the MLA move to the High Court for seeking regular bail. He also moved a plea that challenged the order of the Magistrate .

 George told the Court that he never thought that the second speech was anything that was questionable in any which way or could incite religious tensions.

Today, during the hearing, Director General of Prosecution Senior Advocate TA Shaji submitted that if the bail is given in this speech case then, it should also be ensured that investigation is not tampered. He also said that court should also ensure that MLA is not involved in similiar offences in future.

The Court, while delivering the order said that the MLA will have to be present during any further investigation if any. also he has to fully co-operate in any scientific procedure that the prosecution may ask for.

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