Allahabad HC rejects anticipatory bail plea stating Right to Freedom of speech not a license to hurt the sentiments of fellow citizens

In a plea of anticipatory bail, the Allahabad High Court in Mohammad Nadeem v. State of UP, propounded that the Right to freedom and speech does not give any person the right to hurt the religious sentiments and feelings of fellow citizens.

In this case, the accused was charged for spreading propaganda about the foundation ceremony of the Ram Mandir, Ayodhya with a malice of spreading hatred among the two religious communities.

The bench headed by Justice CD Singh further held that, “A person who takes the risk of dissemination of blasphemous messages is not entitled to get the discretion of the court exercised in his favour”.

Nadeem’s counsel submitted that such allegations were false and fabricated to cover up the illegality involved in an unauthorized detention of Nadeem by police authorities.The bench denied the pre-arrest bail to the Popular Front of India (PFI) activist Mohammad Nadeem, saying that the right to freedom of speech does not give a person an absolute license to hurt the religious sentiments of people.

Nadeem was charged under section 153 A of Indian Penal Code after making objectionable remarks regarding the foundation laying ceremony at the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

The court further held that considering the facts of the case, prima facie an offence under section 153A IPC would be attracted. It was observed that the accused in not an ordinary person and was involved in anti-national activities.

In the current case, section 153 A IPC was attracted and the court rejected the plea of anticipatory bail.

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