Don't Make Any Speech Which Would Be Offence U/s. 153A Or 295A Of IPC: Kerala HC's Condition While Granting Bail To P. C. George
The Kerala High Court today granted bail to Ex-MLA of Kerala P.C. George for alleged hate speech targeting the Muslim community during the 'Hindu Maha Sammelanam' at Thiruvananthapuram.
The Bench of Justice P. Gopinath also granted him anticipatory bail in a case registered subsequently for a speech made at Ernakulam.
For the speech made at the 'Hindu Maha Sammelanam', FIR under Sections 153A and 295A of the IPC was registered against George. Upon his arrest, he was granted bail by the Magistrate with a direction "The accused is directed not to make and propagate controversy statement which may hurt the religious sentiments of others while on bail".
The Prosecution moved an application for cancellation of the bail on the grounds that the bail was granted without notice to and without hearing the Public Prosecutor and that immediately after his release on bail he said to the media that he stands by whatever he had spoken earlier. The Magistrate then cancelled the bail since a second crime had been registered against George for a subsequent similar offence allegedly committed at Ernakulam.
Senior Advocate P.Vijayabhanu for George contended that even if the entire statements made by the petitioner are taken into consideration, the offences alleged against him are not attracted. He also submitted that, " the petitioner is a 72 year old man, suffering from various age related illnesses and that he was a member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly continuously for nearly 33 years. It is submitted that the petitioner is not a flight risk and the investigation into the case registered against the petitioner can be conveniently carried out without the petitioner being detained in futher custody".
Senior Advocate T.A.Shaji, the Director General of Prosecution submitted that the main concern of the prosecution is that the petitioner may indulge in the commission of similar offences, if he is released on bail. He submitted that, "the petitioner has, by his conduct, made it clear that he will engage in commission of identical offences".
He also submitted that the petitioner has no respect for the law and that the provocative speeches made by the petitioner has resulted in other incidents also, which might tend to disrupt communal harmony in the State.
"I am of the view that since both the offences registered against the petitioner are punishable with a maximum imprisonment upto three years or fine (unless the case where to come within Sub Section (2) of section 153A), the continued detention of the petitioner may not be necessary. The fact that the petitioner is a 72 year old man stated to be suffering from various illnesses and the fact that he was a member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly for nearly 33 years also compels me to take the view that he is not likely to free from justice. Accordingly, these applications for bail are allowed", the Court held.
One among the conditions imposed by the Court for granting bail in both cases is that "Petitioner shall not make any speech or statement which would tend to result in commission of offences under Sections 153A or 295A of the Indian Penal Code".