"He cannot exonerate himself of all responsibility:" [Jantar Mantar hate speech] Preet Singh's application for anticipatory release has been denied by the Delhi High Court. The Court stated that given the applicant's status, it was expected of him to utilise his power and prohibit participants from voicing such incendiary ideas. A Delhi court has refused anticipatory bail to a man charged in the Jantar Mantar anti-Muslim sloganeering case, stating that he cannot relieve himself of all responsibility for the "inflammatory and incendiary" substance of the statements purportedly delivered during the event. Preet Singh v. State The Court noted in its decision that the right to gather and the freedom to express oneself are protected by the Indian Constitution. It did emphasise, however, that such rights were not absolute. “They must be used within the bounds of their inherent reasonableness. The applicant (Singh) not only voluntarily organised the event, but also actively participated and provided support to the views and contents of inflammatory speeches made by the participants / accused persons at the time, by acknowledging and endorsing via gestures and intermittent clapping," the Court said. “...on prima facie analysis of the inflammatory and incendiary content of the speeches or interviews of the participants members of the event, comments especially those pertaining in express pejorative references to a religious community, and keeping in mind that the applicant was an active organiser of the event, he cannot later be held liable,” Additional Sessions Judge Anil Antil concluded in this case. The applicant's, Preet Singh's, participation in the alleged offences was "prima facie obvious" from the evidence presented to the Court, according to the Judge. Singh's argument that the essential components of the offence under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (promoting enmity between various groups on religious grounds, etc.) are not made out was also found to be unconvincing. Singh was also expected to act more responsibly in this case, according to the Court. “Given the applicant's (Singh's) status, it was expected that, in these circumstances, he would have utilised his power and stopped participants from voicing such incendiary ideas in the broader interest of the public / committee welfare. On the other hand, the applicant, together with his other companions, is plainly seen actively engaging in the inflammatory statements," the Court stated.
Tags : #Delhi Court #Jantar Mantar #Anti Muslim Slogans #Sloganeering