Delhi High Court Grants Transit Anticipatory Bail To Lawyer Booked For Allegedly Spreading Fake News About Migrants In Tamil Nadu
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted transit anticipatory bail till March 20 to a lawyer and Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesperson Prashant Kumar Umrao to approach a Chennai Court seeking bail in relation to an FIR lodged by the Tamil Nadu Police for allegedly spreading false information on twitter claiming attacks on migrant workers from Bihar in the Tamil Nadu.
The Court said that Umrao, who is also Standing Counsel for the State of Goa should be granted reasonable time to approach the jurisdictional court.
Further, the Court asked him to furnish his live Google pin location, permanent address and mobile number to the Counsel for the State of Tamil Nadu.
“The application is allowed. He is granted transit anticipatory bail till March 20 to approach the competent territorial court,” ordered a Bench of Justice Jasmeet Singh.
Umrao approached Delhi High Court saying that he has an apprehension of being arrested in the case and requires a reasonable time to approach the territorial jurisdictional court seeking bail.
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
Opposing the plea, Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde, appearing for the State of Tamil Nadu, said charges against the accused are of serious nature. However, the Court did not enter the merits of the case.
“I cannot go into that (merits). I only have to ensure that he gets redressal by approaching the court. That is my limited jurisdiction. I only have to ensure that he gets access to justice,” said Justice Jasmeet Singh.
The Court declined to grant relief of transit anticipatory bail for 12 weeks and said it cannot give it for so long.
“How can I give you 12 weeks? I can only grant you transit anticipatory bail for approaching the concerned court. Be reasonable,” orally observed the Court.
"I am of the view that the applicant should be granted reasonable time to approach the concerned territorial court. The application is allowed. He is granted transit anticipatory bail till March 20 to approach the competent territorial court," ordered the Court.
On March 4, the state police published a press release informing about action being taken against people who published certain information related to migrant labourers being attacked in Tamil Nadu and a criminal case was lodged against Umrao.