The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday granted bail to a lady, accused of tearing the pages of and dishonoring the holy text Gutka Sahib while taking into account the fact that she is ailing and suffering from Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia since 2017.
"In view of her mental condition, it would be a matter of adjudication during the trial as to whether she had the necessary mens rea to commit the offence in question. The investigation in any case stands completed. The challan has been filed and none of the 12 prosecution witnesses have been examined. Therefore, the further incarceration of the petitioner is not required," the bench of Justice Jasjit Singh Bedi observed.
Accused Ravinder Pal Kaur has been accused of causing dishonor to the parts and the cover of the Holy book, tearing pages of Gutka Sahib, Holy Bani of Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, in May 2022. She was arrested. She moved her bail application before the High Court.
Her counsel argued before the Court that the petitioner had been born and brought up as per the Sikh religion and was married into a Sikh family and has utmost regard and respect for the said religion.
It was further submitted that she is suffering from Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. Her medical reports from May 2018 pertaining to the year 2017 when she was undergoing treatment in New Zealand are attached with the petition.
Lastly, it was argued that being a lady of the age of 56 years and looking at her mental condition, by no stretch of imagination can it be said that the offence under Section 295-A IPC was made out as, it was contended, she could not possibly have any deliberate and malicious intent to outrage the religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or beliefs in view of her medical condition.
Hearing the bail application on July 15, 2022, the Court ordered a medical examination of the accused. In the report, it came out that she is a known case of Bipolar Disorder, who had been given psychiatric consultations in jail and later on, was admitted to the hospital as well.
The Counsel appearing for the State did not dispute the factual position of the petitioner suffering from Bipolar Disorder, Diabetes, and Hypertension. Consequently, the Court granted her bail subject to the satisfaction of CJM/Duty Magistrate, concerned.
Case title - Ravinder Pal Kaur v. State of Punjab
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 224