Allahabad High Court: Expressing that Students travelling freely to different parts of the country in the quest for knowledge is the true celebration of India diversity and a vivid manifestation of India’s unity, Ajay Bhanot, J., stated that it is the duty of the people of the hosting State to create enabling conditions for visiting scholars to learn and to live the constitutional values of our nation.

“…obligation of the young scholars to imbibe and adhere to such values.”

An FIR was filed under Sections 153-A, 505(1)(b), 124A of Penal Code, 1860.

Applicants had raised pro-Pakistan slogans and also sloganeered against India in the aftermath of an Indo-Pak match. They also made like posts on social media and instigated civil disorder in the country.

Applicants’ counsel contended that the present case was the result of student rivalries over trivial issues. The applicants did not raise anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans. Further, it was submitted that the applicants were responsible Indian citizens who hailed from the State of Jammu and Kashmir which is the very embodiment of Indian values.

It was also stated that the applicants truly represented Kashmiriyat defined by syncretist ideals and composite culture. The said ideals from the essence of Indian values are diversely expressed in various parts of the country.

With regard to the trial moving at a snail’s pace, it was contended that it is not likely to conclude any time soon. Hence, the inordinate delay in the trial would lead to indefinite detention of the applicants.

Analysis, Law and Decision

High Court while addressing the matter, expressed that,

“The unity of India is not made of bamboo reeds which will bend to the passing winds of empty slogans.”

Further, the Court added that, the foundations of our nation are more enduring and eternal ideals bind the indestructible unity of India. Every citizen of the country is the custodian, and the State is the sentinel of the unity of India and the constitutional values of the nation.

In the present matter, since the submissions of the counsel for the applicants could not be disputed on behalf of the State, the applicants were entitled to be enlarged on bail.

Hence, the bail application was allowed subject to the following conditions:

(i) The applicants will not tamper with the evidence during the trial.

(ii) The applicants will not influence any witness.

(iii) The applicants will appear before the trial court on the date fixed, unless personal presence is exempted.

(iv) The applicants shall not directly or indirectly make inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade them from disclosing such facts to the Court to any police officer or tamper with the evidence.

[Inayat Altaf Shekh v. State of U.P., Criminal Misc. Bail Appl. No. 53115 of 2021, decide don 30-3-2022]

Advocates before the Court:

Counsel for Applicant:- Santosh Kumar Singh, Ramesh Chandra Yadav, Sudhakar Yadav

Counsel for Opposite Party:- G.A.

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