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"Freedom Of Speech Foundation Of Strong Democracy": P&H HC Grants Bail To Man Over Alleged Objectionable Speech Against Haryana CM

Sparsh Upadhyay
3 Aug 2021 4:41 PM GMT
Freedom Of Speech Foundation Of Strong Democracy: P&H HC Grants Bail To Man Over Alleged Objectionable Speech Against Haryana CM
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court today granted Bali to a farm leader who allegedly delivered an objectionable speech (during a protest) against the Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar.Granting him bail, the Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan noted thus:"Suffice to say that freedom of speech is a fundamental right and makes a foundation for a strong democracy. At this stage must...

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today granted Bali to a farm leader who allegedly delivered an objectionable speech (during a protest) against the Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar.

Granting him bail, the Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan noted thus:

"Suffice to say that freedom of speech is a fundamental right and makes a foundation for a strong democracy. At this stage must hasten to add that embargo to freedom of speech is prescribed in Article 19 of the Constitution of India itself."

One Dalbir, a farm leader moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking regular bail in two FIRs under Section 124-A, 153-A, 294, 504, 500, 506, 505 (1) of IPC of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to IPC) and under Sections 294, 504, 500, 506 and 505(1) IPC.

It was alleged that Dalbir had given speeches, which according to the State had objectionable contents with regard to the present Chief Minister, Haryana, and could have resulted in caste-based division creating a threat to the peace and harmony.

On the other hand, the petitioner alleged that he was only exercising his fundamental right to protest and that the Petitioner had a right to criticize the functioning of the State.

Having perused the nature of contents of the speeches, the Court noted that it would be the subject matter of trial as to whether it was a lawful protest against the policies and working of the Government or it had a different goal and intention.

Further, noting that the investigation in both the cases was complete, the Court granted him bail subject to furnishing surety/bail bonds to the tune of Rs. 2 Lakhs each in both the FIRs before the Chief Judicial Magistrate/Duty Magistrate concerned.

Case title - Dalbir Singh v. State of Haryana

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