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Doubtful That FB Post Saying 'Taliban Aren't Terrorist' Alone Would Constitute Cognizable Offence: Gauhati HC Grants Bail To UAPA Accused

Sparsh Upadhyay
9 Oct 2021 3:44 AM GMT
Doubtful That FB Post Saying Taliban Arent Terrorist Alone Would Constitute Cognizable Offence: Gauhati HC Grants Bail To UAPA Accused
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The Gauhati High Court recently granted bail to an accused, Maulana Fazlul Karim Qasimi who has been booked under UAPA for allegedly expressing a view on Facebook that the "Taliban" in Afghanistan are not terrorists. The Bench of Justice Suman Shyam observed that it was doubtful as to whether the contents of the Facebook Post alone would constitute a cognizable offence.Qasimi was...

The Gauhati High Court recently granted bail to an accused, Maulana Fazlul Karim Qasimi who has been booked under UAPA for allegedly expressing a view on Facebook that the "Taliban" in Afghanistan are not terrorists. 

The Bench of Justice Suman Shyam observed that it was doubtful as to whether the contents of the Facebook Post alone would constitute a cognizable offence.

Qasimi was booked under Sections 120(B) [Punishment of criminal conspiracy], 153 A(1)(a) and (c), 298 (Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), 505 (1)(b)(c) [Statements conducing to public mischief], 505 (2) [Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes] of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and Section 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 1967 [Offence relating to support given to a terrorist organization].

He sought bail arguing that Court had already granted bail to another applicant, wherein a similar proceeding was registered and the applicant was arrested for expressing such an opinion.

Having persued the case diary, the Bench granted him bail on furnishing a bond of Rs.20,000/- as it observed thus:

"From a perusal of the Case Diary I find that there is nothing incriminating against the applicant save and except the fact that there is a Facebook post emanating from his personal account. Even if it is accepted that the applicant is the author of the Facebook post, even then, in the absence of other incriminating materials, it is doubtful as to whether, the contents thereof alone would constitute a cognizable offence. In view of the above, I am of the view that further custodial detention of the applicant would be uncalled for in this case."

In related news, the Gauhati High Court last week granted bail to one Maqbool Alam booked for praising and glorifying Tehreek-e-Taliban, i.e. a terrorist organization.

Allegedly, Alam had posted a Facebook post in which he had shown his support towards Tehreek-e-Taliban, a terrorist organization that engaged in a war to throw out a democratically elected government in Afghanistan and also targeted Indian citizens through violent means.

Case title - Maulana Fazlul Karim Qasimi v. State of Assam

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