NEW DELHI: An accused in a case of alleged communal sloganeering at an event held at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday argued before the Delhi High Court that in a democratic set up, a demand for ‘Hindu Rashtra’ didn’t amount to promoting enmity between religious groups.
Preet Singh, one of the organisers of the event who is presently in judicial custody, told Justice Mukta Gupta that he would not press his bail application, if the court held a contrary opinion. The judge reserved order on Singh’s bail plea after hearing his counsel and the Delhi Police who opposed his release.
“I say with the greatest sense of responsibility, if the court holds that the demand for ‘Hindu Rashtra’ comes under Section 153 of IPC, I will not press my bail application. In a democratic set up, if it is promoting enmity, I will not press my bail,” said counsel Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing Singh.
The lawyer conceded to the accused giving an interview on this demand but contended that he was not a part of the allegedly communal sloganeering.
“Nothing is said by my client which attracts Section 153A of IPC. They are putting a case of Section 34 IPC (common intention) but the event ended at 11:45 am and sloganeering happened at 3:45 pm. My client was not present at the time,” he stated.
The court was also informed that the main organiser, lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, has already been granted bail.
“Sloganeering was the genesis of the FIR and I was not there,” the counsel stated. Counsel Tarang Srivastava, representing the prosecution, stated that Singh’s absence at the time of chanting of allegedly communal slogans would not absolve him from any liability.
He added that all accused, except Upadhyay, were in custody and investigation in the case was going on.