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Casteist Remarks Case- Release Yuvraj Singh On Interim Bail If He Is Arrested On Joining Probe: Punjab & Haryana High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
12 Oct 2021 6:41 AM GMT
Casteist Remarks Case- Release Yuvraj Singh On Interim Bail If He Is Arrested On Joining Probe: Punjab & Haryana High Court
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Noting that the Haryana Police is presently seeking only "formal arrest" of Cricketer Yuvraj Singh in an alleged casteist remark case, the Punjab & Haryana High Court last week directed that in case he is arrested on joining the probe, he should be released on interim bail upon furnishing bail and surety bonds.The Bench of Justice Amol Rattan Singh was hearing Singh's plea seeking quashing...

Noting that the Haryana Police is presently seeking only "formal arrest" of Cricketer Yuvraj Singh in an alleged casteist remark case, the Punjab & Haryana High Court last week directed that in case he is arrested on joining the probe, he should be released on interim bail upon furnishing bail and surety bonds.

The Bench of Justice Amol Rattan Singh was hearing Singh's plea seeking quashing of the FIR registered against him for his alleged casteist remarks against another cricketer during an Instagram chat last year.

Background in brief

Singh had filed the FIR quashing Plea which was registered on a complaint filed by one Rajat Kalsan of Hansi under Section 153 A (promoting enmity) and 153B (assertions prejudicial to national-integration) of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Prevention and Atrocities Act 1989.

Appearing before the Court, Senior Counsel Puneet Bali argued that Singh did not in any manner intended to promote feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will against members of the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes, and rather, the implication of the word used only being in the context of an inebriated person (person who consumes bhang).

On the other hand, the counsel for the complainant submitted that this particular argument was raised after the petition was filed, and therefore, it was only an "ingenious argument" made by senior counsel.

Court's order

Taking into account the submission, the Court observed that earlier, on 15th September, it had directed, as an interim measure, that no coercive steps be taken against Singh, however, since the SP herself sought only "formal arrest" of Singh in terms of Section 18-A(b) of the SC/ST Act of 1989, the Court issued the following order:

"...the interim order is modified to the extent that the petitioner, upon joining investigation with the investigating officer, if he is sought to be arrested, would be released on interim bail, upon furnishing bail and surety bonds to his satisfaction, till the next date of hearing before this court"

Importantly, while issuing the aforesaid order, the Court did stress that in view of Top Court's ruling in the case of M/s Neeharika Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. vs. State of Maharashtra and others, LL 2021 SC 211, 'no coercive steps' orders must not be issued and rather, the accused must be relegated to apply for anticipatory bail.

Read more about the Neerika Infrastructure case (supra) here: High Courts Can't Pass 'Not To Arrest' Or 'No Coercive Steps' Orders While Dismissing/Disposing Petitions U/s 482 CrPC: Supreme Court

However, since in this case, even though Singh had not applied for anticipatory bail and the SP too, didn't seek his proper arrest but only a 'formal arrest', the Court issued the aforesaid order of granting him bail on joining the probe in the matter.

However, the Court has given the liberty to the SP to filed another affidavit if she has anything further to say on the issue, with regard to the phrase "formal arrest" used by her in her affidavit, clarifying what she meant.

Now, the matter would be heard next on November 18 as Singh's counsel submitted that he wished to address arguments further in the instant quashing petition.

Case title - Yuvraj Singh vs. State of Haryana and another

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