The Kerala High Court on Monday allowed bail to an Social Democratic Party of India leader, Ameer Ali. He was charged under Section 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly publishing a statement that caused enmity between communities, after he put up posters against the custodial torture of two Muslim youth.
Several cases were registered against the petitioner in respect of the posters, in view of their wide circulation. Despite his being granted bail in some of the cases filed against him, he was not allowed bail for the other cases.
The petitioner argued that the maintainability of the allegation is doubtful, and that he was, therefore, entitled to bail. The offence described under Section 505(2), IPC was the only charge against him that was bailable. The posters concerned an event that was already widely known and spoken about on social media.
This contention was rejected by the Prosecution, which based the charges against Ali on the fact that the supposed torture was by a Sub Inspector who was a Hindu.
Justice Menon opined that the posters merely highlighted an incident against two Muslim youth committed by a specific police officer. While the Judge refrained from deciding whether the offence was made out in the case, Justice Menon found that there was a specific indication for the Court to exercise discretion and grant bail.
The Court referred to Bilal Ahmed Kaloo v. State of Andhra Pradesh, which held that merely inciting the feeling of one community or group without any reference to any other community or group could not attract either Section 153A or Section 505 of the Indian Penal Code. From that previous case the accused was already incarcerated for quite a while, the Court opined that further incarceration was not needed.
Later, Ali was enlarged on bail.