Karnataka High Court: K.S. Mudagal, J., declined bail to a person accused of creating feeling of insecurity amongst people on religious basis through his social media platform and urging people to spread COVID-19.
Allegation were that the petitioner with an intention to promote disharmony and hatredness, to disturb the public tranquility and to create feeling of insecurity amongst the people on the religious basis, uploaded the following messages on his face book platform:
“i) Let’s Join hands, go out sneeze with open mouth in public place, spread the virus”
ii) “spread the word to end the world” and
iii) “my stun gun is ready-killing dogs”
For the above-stated, petitioner was arrested and has been in judicial custody since 29th March, 2020.
Petitioners counsel submitted that, petitioner is ready to cooperate for investigation and trial and he may be granted bail with suitable conditions.
HCGP while opposing the petition submitted that, from the investigation in the said matter it was found that, petitioner has links with unorganized terrorist groups and that has to be unearthed in the further investigation.
On perusal of Investigating Officer’s report along with the Case Diary, prima facie it appears that though the petitioner was well educated and well employed, yet uploaded the above stated messages which are likely to cause disharmony, hatredness and hostile to the humanity. They are likely to cause panic amongst the people when the entire world is undergoing a traumatic situation due to Covid-19 pandemic.
During the investigation following was discovered,
As per the CD records the petitioner was influenced by some elements preaching religious fanatism and antinational ideas, he even shared a Pak Whatsapp number for islamic information. The investigation records further show that the petitioner was having six bank accounts in various banks.
Thus, Investigating Officer seized the incriminating materials and even an Officer of National Investigation Agency participated in the investigation to examine the link of the petitioner in the national security issues. Investigation is still on.
Hence, in view of the circumstances of the matter, petitioner is refused to be granted bail. [Mohammed Mujeeb v. State, 2020 SCC OnLine Kar 542, decided on 21-05-2020]