Vishal Dadlani Gets Interim Bail, Meets Monk Tarun Sagar [Read Order]
He admitted that he was ‘hurt and disappointed’ with himself and his ego and described the monk as ‘gentle and kind’. He was quoted stating in his letter: "It is that same ego that I hope to defeat, with your help. I apologise again, from the depths of my heart, and ask that Muni-ji and all my Jain brothers and sisters, forgive me.”
Music composer Vishal Dadlani, who landed in trouble for his tweet on Jain monk Tarun Sagar’s address to the Haryana assembly, was granted anticipatory bail in the case on Wednesday. He was granted anticipatory bail in the Vishal Dadlani vs. State of Haryana case, vide order passed by Ambala Sessions Court. The order came as a relief to the music composer courted controversy because of his vociferous criticism of the speech delivered by the Jain monk within the precincts of the Haryana Legislative Assembly, and made his disappointment public through various tweets on Twitter.
Following this, an FIR was lodged under sections 153A, 295A and 509 of IPC against him wherein the complainant, a resident of Ambala Cantt., held him responsible for causing utter disrespect, criticism and spread of religious discontent/enmity towards the Jain community and the monk.
The court held that there was nothing in the FIR to suggest that one group or community was intended to be pitted against the other, on the ground of religion, race, place of birth etc. so Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code could not be attracted. For section 295A of IPC ‘deliberate and malicious’ intent to cause hurt to religious sentiments was necessary.
However, it was clear from the tweets posted that the petitioner had only wanted to show his concern about mixing of religion with the politics and criticise the action of the state government in inviting Jain Muni to the Legislative Assembly. What also went in favour of the petitioner was that after realising that his tweets were being criticised and were not being understood as he wanted to intend, he issued numerous apologies making it clear that he did not want to upset the Jain feelings and that his intent was to ridicule the merger of religion and politics.
The opposite parties had also contended that the petitioner was trying to evade arrest and not coping with the investigation. Since his petition for quashing the FIR was dismissed at the Supreme Court, his anticipatory bail should be denied. The Sessions Court said the petitioner couldn’t be denied bail just based on the fact that petitioner had earlier filed petitions before the Supreme Court and the High Court because by filing these petitions, he was exercising his right. When it was suggested that the petitioner should be asked to join the investigation, if police wanted to interrogate him, the complainant and prosecutor strongly opposed it. The court drew an inference that the purpose of the complainant/state is to humiliate the petitioner and not to make progress in the investigation.
Finally, the court directed the petitioner to join the investigation and cooperate with the investigating agency. Petitioner Vishal Dadlani was also directed to present himself before the Investigating Officer at Police Station, Ambala Cantt, on Wednesday noon. During this period, he was given an interim bail to the satisfaction of the arresting officer. Advocates Karuna Nundy, Umrish Gandhi and Amardeep Singh Talwar appeared for Dadlani
After the order, the music composer went to meet the Jain monk at his ashram in Chandigarh to apologise and later said ‘Guruji’ had accepted his apology and that the two were ‘friends now’. He admitted that he was ‘hurt and disappointed’ with himself and his ego and described the monk as ‘gentle and kind’. He was quoted stating in his letter: "It is that same ego that I hope to defeat, with your help. I apologise again, from the depths of my heart, and ask that Muni-ji and all my Jain brothers and sisters, forgive me.”
Read the order here.