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FB Post Against Smriti Irani- "Post May Promote Ill-Will/Hatred Between Different Communities": Allahabad High Court Denies Pre Arrest Bail To Professor

Sparsh Upadhyay
26 May 2021 4:00 AM GMT
FB Post Against Smriti Irani- Post May Promote Ill-Will/Hatred Between Different Communities: Allahabad High Court Denies Pre Arrest Bail To Professor
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The contents of the post are indeed such which may in fact, promote or in all likelihood of promoting ill-will or hatred between different communities: Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday (May 25) refused to grant anticipatory bail to a senior teacher in a college and a Head of Department who is accused of putting an objectionable and obscene post on Facebook regarding Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles & Women and Child Development.Observing that the contents of the post are indeed such which may, in...

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The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday (May 25) refused to grant anticipatory bail to a senior teacher in a college and a Head of Department who is accused of putting an objectionable and obscene post on Facebook regarding Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles & Women and Child Development.

Observing that the contents of the post are indeed such which may, in fact, promote or in all likelihood of promoting ill-will or hatred between different communities, the Bench of Justice J. J. Munir said that the conduct of this kind prima facie does not entitle him to the indulgence of Pre-arrest Bail.

The matter before the Court

The Court was hearing an application for anticipatory bail on behalf of the applicant, Dr. Shaharyar Ali, in connection with Case under Section 505(2) IPC and Section 67A I.T. Act, wherein his Counsel submitted that he had been falsely implicated in the instant crime, at the instance of the informant, who is a Zila Mantri of the Bharatiya Janata Party, on account of animosity.

It was urged that he is a Professor in a degree college and Head of the History Department and that the alleged objectionable and obscene post regarding Smriti Zubin Irani, had been done through hacking of his Facebook ID.

On the other hand, A.G.A. submitted that the post carried an obscene comment about a Minister in the Central Government, which was a statement made and circulated on the social media containing a rumour likely to promote hatred or ill will behaviour between different religious groups, an act punishable under Section 505(2) IPC.

Court's observations

At the outset, the Court noted that the question of whether the applicant did actually post the offending and obscene post regarding the Minister is to be prima facie accepted at this stage, as there was no material to show that the applicant's account was, in fact, hacked.

Rather, the Court added, the applicant has posted his apology on that account, which shows that the account is prima facie still being operated by him.

Importantly, the Court remarked,

"It is also apparent that this post was shared by co-accused in the crime, one Huma Naqvi, and the contents of the post are indeed such which may in fact, promote or in all likelihood of promoting ill-will or hatred between different communities."

Further, the Court said that,

"In the prima facie opinion of this Court, looking to the fact that the applicant is a senior teacher in a college and a Head of Department, conduct of this kind prima facie does not entitle him to the indulgence of anticipatory bail."

However, the Court clarified that the applicant was entitled to surrender and seek regular bail.

Thus, in the entirety of the circumstances, the Court didn't find it to be a fit case to grant anticipatory bail and so the application for anticipatory bail was thereby rejected.

Case title - Dr. Shaharyar Ali v. State of U.P. and Another [Criminal Misc. Anticipatory Bail Application u/s 438 Cr.P.C. No. - 9747 of 2021]

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