No need for custodial trial anymore: Delhi High Court grants bail to Preet Singh in Jantar Mantar Case

No need for custodial trial anymore: Delhi High Court grants bail to Preet Singh in Jantar Mantar Case

Preet Singh, an accused in the Jantar Mantar case, has been granted bail by the Delhi High court. 

The bail was uploaded by the accused in a case regarding the anti-Muslim slogans raised after a meeting coordinated at Jantar Mantar in Delhi last month. 

Justice Mukta Gupta while hearing the petition, on Friday granted bail to the accused. 

The petitioner has been in custody since 9/10.08.2021. The petitioner is no more required for custodial interrogation. It is, therefore, directed that the petitioner be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond in the sum of ₹50,000/- with two surety bonds of the like amount“, the Court said. 

The Court on September 15 reserved the judgment after hearing the contentions made by Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain for Preet Singh and Advocate Tarang Srivastava representing the State. 

Preet Singh had declared that he was not associated with giving any provocative talks or raising any mottos against any individual or local area. 

Showing up for Singh, Jain contended that Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, etc.) of the Indian Penal Code would not be drawn in regardless of whether Singh portrayed his intention to support “Hindu Rashtra” during an interview. 

Advocate Srivastava argued that Singh and other accused hold the common intention in promoting ill will against a particular minority community. 

The Court, however, chose to remain silent on the benefits of these contentions. 

The Court, notwithstanding, observed that Preet Singh, being a co-coordinator of the Jantar Mantar rally, would be obligated for any offense committed in furtherance of a common object of the assembly, gathered at the spot. The fact that he left the spot at around 2 pm, after which the inflammatory slogans were raised by the other accused. 

…. at this stage it would not be appropriate for this Court to express any opinion on the said determination which is required to be gone into at the stage of charge or during the trial. However, the interview by the petitioner was not isolated and was part of the simultaneous conversation with several speakers. A further large number of people gathered at the spot due to the petitioner co-organizing the protest and therefore the petitioner would be liable for any offense committed in furtherance of the common object of the assembly. However, as per the video footage and the call records of the petitioner, the petitioner left the spot at around 2.00 PM thereafter the main provocative words/ slogans were shouted by the co-accused at around 4.00 PM”, the request expressed. 

The rally was conducted at Jantar Mantar by former BJP representative and lawyer, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, to challenge colonial-era laws. But later on, the videos of the rally were circulated where individuals had requested the killing of Muslims. Looking at the matter concerned, Upadhyay alongside five others were subsequently arrested depending on the video. 

However, Upadhyay, denied any connections with the slogans raising expression that he had left the scene at 12 pm while the slogans were raised by the unknown malefactor from 5 pm onwards, based on which Upadhyay was granted bail. 

However, the trial court rejected the bail application of Preet Singh to which he further appealed in the High Court. Afterwhich the bail has been permitted today.

Drishti Miglani
I am Drishti Miglani, a fifth-year BBA-LLB student at Banasthali Vidyapith, Rajasthan. Being a first-generation lawyer, I am a highly motivated individual who is always keen on providing my level best at any task. My area of interest is criminal and constitutional law however isn't limited to the same. I am extremely enthusiastic about research and love the opportunity to expand my horizons of knowledge. I am an extremely unbiased individual who makes her opinion on a matter only after the analysis of a subject at the most minute details. I love to connect with people and know more about them, their culture, background. I look for opportunities to implement my skills and knowledge and gain some experience out of it.