Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay and five others were arrested on Tuesday by Delhi Police in relation to the anti-Muslim sloganeering that took place at his rally “against colonial-era laws” in the country held on August 8.
In the rally a video had later surfaced with a few people calling for killing of Muslims in India. Upadhyay was remanded to two days of judicial custody, following which he sought bail.
Four Senior Advocates to represent Upadhyay in the case. One of four was the Supreme Court Bar Association President Vikas Singh and the others were Sidharth Luthra, Pradeep Rai and Gopal Sankaranarayanan.
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh today told Delhi Court that “I will be last person to defend someone making such a hate speech. The country will get completely divided if we allow such speeches.”
Singh told the Court,
“We are all appearing not only because Upadhyay is a respected advocate, this kind of arrest can’t be permitted…it is clear from the video that it is at 5pm…Police can’t indiscriminately arrest anybody when there is no plausible suspicion also. Suppose allegation was that it was in his presence, I wouldn’t have defended him…”
The Public Prosecutor countered,
“We have to see gravity of the offence, date, pandemic time.At this time you are gathering so many people.You see the area, Parliament Session was going on.”
It was an unlawful assembly. All these offences were committed. Section 149 is involved. Even if in his presence, somebody has given hate speech, the public prosecutor added.
Sankaranarayanan then contended,
Mere presence, even if such a presence is admitted, will not be sufficient.He wasn’t there. It is for the prosecution to show he was present.