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Supreme Court reprimands Prashant Rao, says he should act more responsibly as lawyer

The Apex Court has pulled up the Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Prashant Umrao for sharing incorrect news about the attacks against Bihari workers in Tamil Nadu through social media platform.

The Court said that Prashant Rao is not only a leader but also a lawyer,who should understand the meaning of such baseless, less researched matters.

The Court has instructed him to duly tender an apology for spreading misinformation.

Justices BR Gavai and Justice Pankaj Mithal were hearing a writ petition filed by the leader for the clubbing of the first information reports (FIRs) registered against him in different police stations over the tweet.

The Court was also hearing a special leave petition against the condition imposed by the Madras High Court while granting him anticipatory bail.

The bench issued notice on the writ petition and modified the condition imposed by the Madras High Court which required him to appear before the police for 15 days.

As per the order the petitioner will now have to appear on Monday at 10 AM and thereafter as and when required by the investigating officer.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, who appeared on behalf of Patel, said that the accused had only tweeted news which was already been shared by various media agencies and after he realized the folly deleted it as well.

Justice Gavai also expressed surprise at the bail condition imposed by the high court asking what investigation is been done for five hours every day for 15 days,

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the state police, refused to accept that there was anything wrong with the said condition.

“The counsel argued that the BJP spokesperson had neither appeared before the police nor tendered an affidavit stating that he would refrain from posting any tweet that would promote enmity between different groups.

The senior added that The accused should have at least complied with the other conditions. He asked as to why was the affidavit not filed till date.

Justice Gavai questioned about standing of Patel in the bar?The bench was informed that Patel has been a member of the Bar for seven years and is currently serving as a standing counsel for Goa.

As per the FIR, on February 23 this year, Umrao tweeted that fifteen people from Bihar were hanged in a room in Tamil Nadu for speaking Hindi of which 12 had died.

The tweet alleged that even after this sad happening, Tejaswi Yadav shamelessly celebrated birthday party with Stalin in Tamil Nadu.

The State police booked Umrao for the tweet and the FIR was registered under Sections 153, 153A, 504 and 505 of the Indian Penal Code.

In his plea for anticipatory bail however, Umrao denied posting the alleged tweet claiming that a false complaint was made against him because of political vendetta. 

Umrao in his plea aid that he is not the creator of such tweets and even the alleged forward of such tweet was not within his knowledge and the law is settled that in so far as the forwarding of hatred/offending messages are concerned, it is only the creator of the same is responsible for a criminal liability.

He further said that even if one were to assume the tweets were viewed by lakhs of people, no untoward incident or group clashes had occurred because of the said tweets.

.He was granted anticipatory bail by a single judge of the Madras High Court, but Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan directed him to appear before the investigating officer daily for a period of 15 days. This condition has been challenged in the SLP filed before the Supreme Court.

Further, Patel was granted anticipatory bail only after he signed an undertaking before the jurisdictional magistrate swearing that he would refrain from tweeting or forwarding any such message that would promote enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc.

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