The High Court of Delhi granted Anticipatory Bail to former Delhi Minorities Commission(DMC) Chief Zafarul Islam Khan on July 31st. Khan sought anticipatory bail on the ground that he is a public servant and a senior citizen aged 72 years. The plea also claims that he is suffering from heart disease and hypertension. Thus, the Petitioner is highly susceptible to COVID-19 Coronavirus disease.
Facts of the Case
On April 28th, Zafarul Khan had published a post on his social media account. The post turned to be seditious and hateful. On May 2nd, based on a complaint, Delhi Police Special Cell lodged an FIR against Khan under Sections 124A and 153A of IPC. Khan promoted hatred between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, and language. Hence, he was accountable for the alleged offences of sedition.
The Petitioner had sought anticipatory bail and protection from coercive action. He claims that he was only doing his statutory duty to protect the rights of Muslims. However, the police filed FIR against him with a malafide intention of harassing and intimidating him.
Arguments before Court
Ms Vrinda Grover appeared for the Petitioner. She claimed that since March 2020, India had seen widespread with hate speech and comments. In some of the cases, members of the Muslim community have faced physical attacks. The Muslim community is facing blame for spreading COVID-19.
She submitted that a large portion of the hate speech and attacks on the Muslim community was in the form of spreading fake and fabricated news. It defames Muslims and portrays them as Coronavirus carrier.
Ms.Grover further informed that the Petitioner has already deposited his laptop to the Investigating Officer. He had also joined the investigation on two occasions.
Dr M.P. Singh appeared for the State. On instructions from Inspector Pawan Kumar, APP submits that the Petitioner is no longer required for further investigation.
A Single Judge Bench of Justice Manoj Kuma Ohri released Mr Khan on Bail subject to furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and one surety of the like amount.
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