Advocate Krishna Raj, the lawyer for Swapna Suresh who had made serious allegations against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his family about involvement in the gold smuggling, has been given anticipatory bail in the FIR registered against him for a Facebook post.

Ernakulam Sessions Court has allowed the anticipatory bail application despite the vehement opposition of the prosecution.

An FIR was registered against Krishna Raj on June 11 for the offence under Section 295 A of the IPC, based on a complaint of an Advocate Anoop V.R.

The allegation against him was that he posted a statement on Facebook with a deliberate and malicious intention to outrage the religious feelings of believers of Islam. He had attached a photograph with the post wherein a person appears to be in the attire of Muslim sat on the driver seat of a Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus.

"I have gone through the facebook post. Prima-facie it appears as a sarcastic criticism against the Government of Kerala", Sessions Judge Honey M.Varghese said in the order.

In the anticipatory bail application filed through Advocate B.N. Shiv Shanker, Krishna Raj has contended that his sarcastic comments were twisted to register the FIR "due to animosity against him for being advocate of Swapna Suresh who has given Section 164 statement to the Magistrate against the involvement of high officials and politicians in the gold smuggling scam including the Chief Minister of Kerala and his wife and daughter".

The public prosecutor had argued that Krishna Raj "is making comments frequently so as to outrage the religious feelings of a particular class of citizens". He argued that the photo attached along with the post has also outraged religious feelings. "There is deliberate and malicious intention on the part of the petitioner to outrage the religious feelings", he argued.

"Here the highlight of the post is that the State Government arranged a special service in connection with the Anniversary of the Government. This section does not disclose any act of insult or attempt to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of a class of citizens who are not perpetrated with the deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of that class. As I mentioned, prima facie the post appears to be a sarcastic criticism against the Government of Kerala", the Court held.

The Court noted that the petitioner is a practicing lawyer and that no other case is registered against him so far.

While granting anticipatory bail, the Court imposed a condition that the petitioner shall not make any comments or publish any comments or posts of a nature outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens of India in any media including social media.

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