Madurai Bench Of Madras HC Grants Anticipatory Bail To Advocate Prashant Umrao In FIR For Tweet On Migrant Workers
The Madras High Court, Madurai Bench has granted anticipatory bail to Lawyer and Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesperson Prashant Kumar Umrao with certain conditions after he was booked for allegedly spreading false information on twitter claiming attacks on migrant workers from Bihar in Tamil Nadu. The order was passed by the Bench of Justice G.K. Ilanthiraiyan.
Another anticipatory bail application filed by him with respect to another FIR was listed today before Justice A.D. Jagadish Chandira before the Madras Bench of the High Court. The Court asked the prosecution how many FIRs have been registered in the State on the same subject against Prashant Umrao. The Court directed State to disclose the same by March 28. In the meantime, the Court directed that no coercive action be taken in view of the order of the Madurai Bench after Advocate M Ramamoorthi appeared for Prashant.
Earlier, the Delhi High Court had granted transit anticipatory bail to him till March 20.
Justice G.K. Ilanthiraiyan has directed Prashant Kumar Umrao to file an undertaking affidavit not to tweet or forward any such message to promote enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc.
“…on filing such undertaking affidavit before the concerned Jurisdictional Magistrate, the petitioner is ordered to be released on bail in the event of arrest or on his appearance…”, the Court directed.
Advocate V. Ramasubbu represented the petitioner whereas Senior Advocate Hasam Mohammed Jinnah appeared for the Respondent.
Prashant Kumar Umrao has been accused of uploading false content on his twitter intentionally to trigger linguistic chauvinism, instigating violence between Hindi-speaking Bihar people and other State people versus Tamil people.
The Court remarked that Prashant Kumar Umrao being an advocate must have some responsibility over the society.
“It is a sorry state of affairs that the petitioner is being an Advocate, and is actively involved in a national wide political party, he must have some responsibility over the Society. Before tweeting or forwarding the Twitter messages, he must think about the consequences of the said messages and the genuineness of the said messages.”, the Court said.
The Court also noted that “Fortunately, no untoward incident or group clashes between the community of the two States happened due to the alleged Twitter forwarded by the petitioner as per the news published in the news channel. The petitioner is being an Advocate, this Court hopes that he will cooperate for interrogation with the respondent.”
An FIR was registered against Umrao under sections 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence), 504 (provoking breach of peace) and 505(public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
In his tweet, he said, “15 people of Bihar were hanged in a room in Tamil Nadu for speaking Hindi and 12 have sadly died. After that, Tejaswi Yadav shamelessly celebrated birthday party with Stalin in Tamil Nadu.”
Later, the tweets posted were deleted from his Twitter account.
Cause Title- Prashant Umrao @ Prashant Kumar Umrao v. The Inspector of Police