MPHC rejects bail plea of Congress leader & ex-Minister Raja Pateria in jail over controversial statement against PM Modi

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has dismissed the bail application of Congress leader and ex- state minister Raja Pateria who is in jail was arrested for speaking controversial statement against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This first post-arrest application under Section 439 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure has been filed on behalf of the applicant for grant of bail, who is behind the bars since 13.12.2022 in connection with Crime No.472/2022 registered at Police Station Pawai, District Panna (M.P.) for the offence punishable under Sections 451, 504, 505(1)(B), 505(1)(C), 506, 153-B(1)(C), 115, 117 of Indian Penal Code.

The story put-forth by the prosecution, it is alleged against the applicant that in an on-going meeting of Congressmen, the applicant made a speech overtly using filthy and intimidating language conspiring to commit murder of the Prime Minister of the country and further instigated the persons of minorities in the wake of their religion, caste and language, the court order said.

Learned senior counsel for the applicant sanguinely submits that the

applicant has been fallaciously roped in the crime and in fact it is nothing but a politically-oriented animosity. He submits that the prosecution has given false colour to the incident by manipulating the video-clip, just to bring home the charge against the applicant. He further submits that the applicant being a respectable and experienced political leader, had merely given a speech maintaining normalcy in language and generally the political leader disseminates their agendas by belittling the achievement or merits of leaders of opposite party. It was just a political stunt and there was no intention of the applicant to throw dirt over anybody’s character or life causing disharmony in the society.

To substantiate the factum that the complainant has manipulated the utterance of statement of applicant, learned senior counsel for the applicant focusing on CD, made appendage to the application, submits that no offence under Section 115 of IPC is made out against the applicant and On these premise, he implores that the applicant may be granted bail.

“In contrast, learned counsel for the respondent/State opposes the application and prays for its dismissal inasmuch as it is highly unexpected from a political leader to overtly disparage the image of rival leader that too of the Prime Minister of India”, the court order of January 10, 2023 said.

“To reinforce his contention, he (the respondent/state counsel) submits that there are statements of various eyewitnesses available on record, which crystalize the unruly act of the applicant and further there are video-clippings which clearly depict that the applicant has eloquently made a speech using words to provoke other persons of minorities, castigating the image and conspiring murder of the Prime Minister. In such circumstances and also on the face of the short-span of incarceration, the bail application deserves outright dismissal”, the court order said.

Justice Sanjay Dwivedi said “I have given anxious consideration to the submissions made on behalf of rival parties by considering the overall facts and circumstances and perusing the integral part of case diary and watching the video contained in CD”.

“However, the sanctity of video-clipping cannot be tested at this stage and treating the same to be true would not be proper for consideration at the stage of bail”, the bench observed.

“Obviously, there was no occasion for the applicant, who is a public leader, to use such a derogatory language for the Prime Minister of the country abetting the mob to commit a crime. Supposedly, the public leader should be vigilant in using the words during their speech, which may distract the minds of his followers/spectators. Oftentimes, it is noticed that it has become a fashion of some public leaders to seek popularity of the followers without being caring for the consequence of deliverance. This practice is not only belittling the image of public leaders in the society but also becoming a cause of increase in criminality in the politics. It is not expected from the public leader to use foul language disparaging the image of leader of high-up-place, like President and Prime Minister and engendering consternation in the society”, the bench observed.

“Thus, prima facie looking to the period of incarceration i.e. 13.12.2022 and the manner in which crime has been committed, the applicant cannot be granted bail inasmuch as it will give a wrong message to the society”, the court order said.

The applicant is set at liberty to resuscitate the prayer of bail by filing application anew after a period of thirty days from today, the court order said.

“The application is accordingly dismissed”, the court order said.

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