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Mumbai Court Grants Anticipatory Bail To Three Men For Playing Drums Outside A Mosque During Azaan, Advises State To Promote "Fraternity"

Fatima Ansari
25 April 2022 7:15 AM GMT
Mumbai Court Grants Anticipatory Bail To Three Men For Playing Drums Outside A Mosque During Azaan, Advises State To Promote Fraternity
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A Mumbai court recently granted anticipatory bail to three men for playing drums outside a mosque during azaan, stating that they didn't shout slogans and their custodial interrogation is "not warranted at all".Additional Sessions Judge SU Baghele, however observed that, "It is the responsibility of the State to ensure that all steps are taken to promote fraternity among different...

A Mumbai court recently granted anticipatory bail to three men for playing drums outside a mosque during azaan, stating that they didn't shout slogans and their custodial interrogation is "not warranted at all".

Additional Sessions Judge SU Baghele, however observed that,

"It is the responsibility of the State to ensure that all steps are taken to promote fraternity among different communities. The State should not shun its eyes and close its ears, in respect of the situation prevailing in the society, resulting into disrespect by any person belonging to one community for other community. The promotion of fraternity is one of the goals, set forth in the constitution. "

As per the say filed by the police, a religious procession was organized by one community. The applicants and others were the participants therein. It was alleged that instigations were given to play drums in front of Mosque, thereby affecting prayer and creating hatred amongst two different communities. It was alleged that prayer of other community was obstructed by organizing the procession, by "selecting the time" accordingly.

It was alleged to be a provocation to cause riot and State argued that it has to be investigated into, as to whether the crime was pre-­planned for which custodial interrogation is necessary.

The court noted that the nature of the allegations is such that custodial interrogation of the applicants is not warranted at all. No purpose is going to be served, by interrogating the applicants, by taking them into custody. No slogans are said to have been raised by one community against another community, thereby directly instigating disharmony and creating hatred inter se two communities. In such scenario, the court decided that the applicants are entitled to anticipatory bail.

However, the court advised that ,"The State must focus on different facets of the scenario, which ultimately results into disharmony, and address the same in such a prudent manner, as to ensure that there shall be no interference by any one community into the religious feelings of any other community, so as to ultimately achieve the goal of fraternity, as sought to be promoted by the Constitution."

Case Title : Mr. Vinod Babaji Shelar & ors v The State of Maharashtra

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