‘Reading of Preamble not incitement to offence’; Delhi Sessions Court in Bhim Army Chief’s bail order

The Bhim Army Chief, Chandrashekhar Azad was accused of inciting people and wearing an outfit, against the current Government, during an anti-CAA protest at Jama Masjid on December 2020. He was recently arrested and detained by the Delhi Police. The eminent personality was granted conditional bail by the Additional Sessions Judge, Kamini Lau on paying a bond of Rs 25,000. The further conditions imposed on him were that he was not allowed to reside or carry on further protests in Delhi, for the forthcoming four weeks, owing to the Delhi elections, which are likely to be conducted soon, in the coming months.  The Court further directed the Delhi Police to escort Azad to his original place of residence, Saharanpur. If he wishes to go anywhere in Delhi, it shall only be done under the guidance of the Police. In addition to these conditions, it was also declared that the Chief will have to appear before an SHO in Saharanpur, every Saturday until and unless a charge sheet is filed in the matter.

The bail plea filed by the Chief was on the grounds, that there was no solid evidence against the allegations made against him and his arrest was unlawful. However, the Court chided the Chief for disrespecting the ‘governmental institutions and the Prime Minister himself’. Apart from the hearing of the bail plea, the Judge also reprimanded the Police by mentioning that every citizen of this country, including Chandrashekhar Azad himself, had the fundamental right to protest against the Government and the ‘Police was behaving as if Jama Masjid was Pakistan’.

The Anti CAA protests, all across the country have certainly led to outrageous protests from different segments of people in India. During the entire course of the protest, it has also given the Police, illegitimate power to detain any citizen without any legal or sufficient cause. As mentioned by the Honourable Court, it is not only a grave violation of the fundamental right of every citizen to protest, against the democracy but has also led to the further exploitation of the Muslims, who are being mistreated, abused and alienated, primarily because of their religion.

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