The Madras High Court on Friday granted bail to two men who stood accused of sedition and offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and who were arrested after they raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the police.
The two were part of a group which allegedly raised such slogans while demonstrating in support of a Maoist leader who is stated to have died after a police encounter.
Justice M Dhandapani granted bail after noting:
- That the only allegation is that slogans were raised praising the deceased Maoist leader and against the Government;
- That others similarly placed as co-accused have been released on bail;
- That the incident took place in 2019;
- The period of incarceration already undergone by the bail applicants.
After their arrest, the bail applicants/ petitioners had been remanded to judicial custody in March 2021.
They were accused of offences under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 120(b) (criminal conspircay) ,121 (waging war against the government of India),121(A) and 124(A) (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code, in addition to provisions under the UAPA.
The prosecution opposed the bail plea asserting that the bail applicants were supporters of a banned organisation and that they had raised slogans abusing the Prime Minister and police personnel.
The counsel for the bail applicants/ petitioners, on the other hand, highlighted that there was no allegation of violence. As such, the Court was urged to grant bail.
The Court ultimately granted bail in the matter, subject to the execution of a bond for Rs 10,000 with two sureties.