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PC George Seeks Regular Bail In Hate Speech Case, Kerala High Court To Consider Today

Hannah M Varghese
26 May 2022 5:12 AM GMT
Kerala Local Bodies Election
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P C George MLA

Senior politician P.C George has moved the Kerala High Court again, this time for regular bail in the first hate speech case in which the Magistrate had cancelled his bail yesterday.

Following the cancellation of bail, the police arrested him yesterday night and he was remanded to judicial custody.

The case pertains to a speech delivered at a programme organised as part of the Ananthapuri Hindu Maha Sammelan, where he alleged that tea adulterated with drugs inducing impotence was sold to non-Muslims in Muslim-run restaurants to turn people infertile in a bid to seize control of the country.

The former MLA had also urged the audience to boycott institutions and restaurants run by Muslims.

The matter was mentioned today morning and will be taken up by Justice Gopinath P after the list.

Thiruvananthapuram First Class Judicial Magistrate Court revoked the bail accepting the prosecution's submission that George violated his bail condition, one of them being to refrain from making any hate speeches while he was on bail. The Court has also held that the jurisdictional police was free to arrest him.

The Police had registered a case against George on April 30 alleging that his speech promoted religious hatred and booked him under non-bailable Section 153A of IPC (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and under Section 295 A (deliberate and malicious act, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).

They took suo motu action against the former legislator under the directions of the State Police Chief.

Thereby, PC George was taken into custody from his residence at Erattupetta on May 1 by early morning and brought to the Armed Reserve Police Camp at Thiruvananthapuram before noon.

He was produced at the residence of the Judicial First Class Magistrate and the Magistrate released him on bail subject to strict conditions. However, this was revoked yesterday.

The petition filed through Advocate Sasthamangalam S Ajithkumar alleged that the Magistrate ought to have kept in mind that the grant of bail and cancellation of bail stand on distinct and separate grounds and unless there is a special and extraordinary compelling circumstance, the Court below ought not to have cancelled the bail.

He argued that in the subsequent speech which is the basis for the cancellation of his bail, there was no controversial statement intended to incite religious sentiments. He added that in that speech, he was merely pointing out instances of discrimination by the state in treating persons belonging to different religions.

According to him, he has only made a speech in accordance with his freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution. Therefore, it has been argued that he did not violate any bail conditions and that he did not make any controversial speech as alleged by the prosecution.

The plea also contends that the High Court while granting interim protection to the petitioner was prima facie satisfied that there was no reason for immediate arrest in the case while adding that this interim protection order was being scrupulously followed by the petitioner.

It has also been submitted that the petitioner is suffering from several ailments.

Case Title: P.C. George v. State of Kerala

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