A Division Bench of Justices Piyush Agrawal and Surya Prakash Kesarwani of the Allahabad High Court granted interim protection to journalist Vineet Narain and Rajneesh Kapur, who were charged for alleging that Champat Rai, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader and his brothers were involved in land grabbing.
Narain and two others were booked for offences under sections, 193 (false evidence), 153A (promoting enmity between religions), 465 (forgery) of the Indian Penal Code, 295A (hurting religious sentiments), and Sections 66D, 71, and 74 of Information Technology Act.
The case was filed against them by the Uttar Pradesh police for making allegations that Champat Rai Ram Temple Trust and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) members were behind grabbing land from a gaushala in Bijnor.
The Bench observed that as per the law laid down by the Apex Court in State of Haryana and others vs. Bhajan Lal, the FIR lodged, prima facie cannot be sustained.
The Court ordered, “Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, as an interim measure it is provided that pursuant to the impugned first information report the petitioners in both the writ petitions shall not be arrested till the next date fixed, i.e., July 27, 2021.”
The counsel representing the petitioner had submitted that the FIR lodged was malafide and that no offence can be made out from it.
The Bench prima facie agreed with the contentions raised by the petitioner after going through the FIR and stated, “Bare perusal of the first information report shows that even if the allegations made in the impugned first information report are taken in their entirety, they do not constitute the offence alleged.”
The matter has been listed for further hearing on 27th July.