The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted interim bail to a student who was arrested for allegedly posting provocative tweets about Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Bar and Bench reported.
A bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and NR Borkar was hearing a petition filed by the 21-year-old student Nikhil Bhamre.
“A student has been in jail for over a month, it cannot be countenanced and some element of public interest is involved,” the bench said while granting him a bail.
In May, Bhamre was arrested by Dindori Police in Nashik and charged under Indian Penal Code Sections 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different groups), 500 (defamation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation).
In his tweet posted last month, Bhamre had written that the “time has come for Baramati’s Gandhi… to create Nathuram Godse of Baramati”. Pune district’s Baramati is Pawar’s home turf. The pharmacy student, however, had not mentioned the name of any politician.
Six first information reports were filed against Bhamre in various police stations across Maharashtra, according to Bar and Bench. The High Court granted bail to him in two FIRs on Tuesday. It also directed the police not to arrest Bhamre on three FIRs. Bhamre has already been granted bail in the sixth FIR against him.
In a previous hearing on June 13, the High Court had said that the Maharashtra government should “save its grace” by voluntarily deciding not to oppose Bhamre’s release from jail.
On Tuesday, advocate Subhash Jha, representing Bhamre, submitted that the Supreme Court in several of tis verdicts has disapproved registering multiple FIRs against a person for the same act, Bar and Bench reported.
Jha also said that his client was arrested without being issued a Section 41A notice under the Criminal Procedure Code. It is a notice issued to a person seeking his appearance before a police officer in cases where an arrest is not needed, Live Law reported.
But Chief Public Prosecutor Aruna Pai argued that Bhamre’s arrest was justified as he had “criminal antecedents”.
The bench, however, said it could not tolerate that a student was kept in custody for a month over a tweet and granted bail to Bhamre.
The High Court listed the final hearing after three weeks.
Case against Marathi actor
In a similar case last month, Marathi actor Ketaki Chitale was arrested by the Thane Police for sharing a derogatory social media post allegedly targeting Pawar.
The 29-year-old actor had shared a poem about Pawar on Facebook and attributed it to an advocate named Nitin Bhave. The poem had mentioned the Nationalist Congress Party leader’s last name and referred to a person above 80 years of age.
The social media post had said that “hell is waiting” for Pawar and made references to his illness and appearance. The poem added that Pawar harbours hatred for Brahmins.
On Thursday, she had moved the Bombay High Court challenging her arrest. She was also granted bail by a sessions court. But, she remains in jail as over 20 cases pending against her.
Crime Today News | INDIA