Delhi Court grants Bail to Former BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay

Deepali Kalia

Published on: August 12, 2021, at 11:38 IST

A Delhi Court on August 11 granted Bail to Ashwini Upadhyay, a Supreme Court Advocate and Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Spokesperson who was arrested over inflammatory and Anti-Muslim slogans raised at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on August 8.

“Conspiracy is no doubt hatched behind closed doors and the investigation in the present matter is at a nascent stage; that, however, does not imply that liberty of a citizen be curtailed on mere assertions and apprehension.” Metropolitan Magistrate Udbhav Kumar Jain observed in his order.

“As far as the offence under IPC Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) is concerned, “except for mere assertion, there is nothing on record to show that the alleged hate speech to promote enmity between different groups was done in the presence or at the behest of the applicant/accused.” The Court stated.

“Even during the hearing, this court has inquired from APP and, so far, there is nothing against the accused in the alleged video. It is not the case where there are chances that the applicant/accused will abscond.” The Court added.

Upadhyay was asked to furnish a personal bond of ₹ 50,000 with surety of like amount subject to conditions that he will have to appear before the Court at each and every hearing and he cannot leave the country without Court’s assent.

Senior Advocates, Siddharth Luthra and Vikas Singh and Advocate Ashwani Dubey appeared for Upadhyay.

Senior Advocate Singh called his arrest a ‘blatant abuse of power by the police’ and contended that “He is a very respected person… It is a very serious case. Police can’t indiscriminately arrest him. He should be released today. This is illegal incarceration.”

“Very often in life, we may be a part of a public function, that does not mean that if a fracas breaks out when we are not there, we should be held responsible. That should not be held against him”. Senior Advocate Luthra argued.

Additional Public Prosecutor Sikhar Mahajan on the other hand asked the Court to refuse bail by looking into the gravity of the offence. He informed that Upadhyay was at the event as a speaker and whether he was there at the time of sloganeering was still under investigation.

Also Read: Ashwini Upadhyay expresses denial on Anti-Muslim Slogans in his Rally

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