The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has denies pre-arrest bail to Popular Front of India (PFI) member accused of spreading propaganda against Ayodhya Ram Temple.
A Single Bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh passed this order while hearing a bail application filed by Mohammed Nadeem seeking anticipatory bail apprehending arrest in the FIR under Section 153-A of Indian Penal Code, Police Station Kursi, District Barabanki.
It is alleged in the FIR that when the complainant Anil Kumar alongwith one Amit Kumar Singh reached in Village Bahrauli, Khartua, he was informed by the people of the village that one Mohammad Nadeem, who is an active member of Popular Front of India, is propagating that since the foundation laying ceremony of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya is being done at the land of mosque, therefore, every Muslim has to come forward to protect the site of Babri Masjid.
It is further alleged in the FIR that due to this propaganda, there was a probability of communal tension between two communities and communal harmony may be disturbed and public peace may be breached.
Yusuf -Uz- Zaman Safwi, the Counsel for the applicant has submitted that all allegations made in the FIR are false and fabricated.
It is submitted that lodging the FIR is nothing but off-shoot to the protest as well as the petition filed by the applicant against his illegal detention by the police personnel of Kursi Police Station, Barabanki.
The Counsel stated that after lodging of the FIR, the applicant moved anticipatory bail application before the court and vide order dated September 28, 2020, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Barabanki has rejected the said anticipatory bail application without considering the submissions and contentions made by the applicant and without applying its mind to the facts and circumstances of the case.
The Counsel has submitted that the contention of the first information report do not make out the accusation against the applicant to be true rather make it per se believable as not a single person has been named who has told the complainant about the spread of hatred by the applicant.
The Counsel has prayed that in view of the above facts, the anticipatory bail application may be allowed.
Rajesh Kumar Singh, Additional Government Advocate has vehemently opposed the submissions made by the applicant’s Counsel and submitted that the applicant is involved in propagating against foundation laying ceremony of Temple at Ayodhya and to promote feeling of enmity, hatred or ill-will between the two communities.
It is submitted that the allegations as made in the FIR against the applicant is too serious. On the earlier occasion also, the applicant was involved in similar nature of offence. He is habitual of disturbing harmony of the society by spreading hatred between the two communities.
Additional Government Advocate has contended that during investigation, investigating agency has found material against the applicant. It is further submitted that the applicant is not merely an ordinary member of PFI but he is an office bearer of PFI and is involved in anti -social/anti-national activities.
The Court observed that the FIR reveals that the applicant is spreading the propaganda about the foundation laying ceremony of Temple at Ayodhya and also trying to promote feeling of enmity, hatred or ill-will between the two religious communities.
The court stated that the comments/propaganda made by the applicant with regard to one religion or community are capable of inciting one community or group against other community. Therefore, prima facie, the offence punishable under Section 153A IPC is attracted to the facts of the case.
The court noted that the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression in a secular State is not an absolute license to injure and hurt the religious feelings and faiths and beliefs of fellow citizens. A person who takes the risk of dissemination of blasphemous messages is not entitled to get the discretion of the Court exercised in his favour.
“In view of the above, I do not find any merit in the anticipatory bail application. Consequently, the application for anticipatory bail is rejected”, said the Court.