NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Wednesday granted bail to advocate and former BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay arrested in connection with anti-Muslim speeches made at Jantar Mantar on August 8.Metropolitan Magistrate Udbhav Kumar Jain granted relief to Upadhyay. “As far as the offence under Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc) of IPC is concerned, except for a mere assertion, there is nothing on record to show that the alleged hate speech... was made in the presence or at the behest of the accused,” the court said.
There was no chance that the accused will abscond, the court said. It noted that the probe was at a nascent stage, but said that “does not imply that liberty of a citizen be curtailed on mere assertions and apprehension”. Upadhyay was granted bail on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and surety of like amount and subject to the conditions that he will not leave the country without the court’s permission and will appear before the court during each and every hearing.
The prosecution opposed the bail on the grounds that release of the accused will create further law and order situation.There are chances that the accused will create communal disharmony, it said.Defencing Upadhyay, senior advocate Vikas Singh termed his arrest as “blatant abuse of power by the police”. It was an admitted fact that the accused was present at the spot in the morning and not at the time of alleged incident relating to hate speech, he submitted.