MUMBAI: Bombay high court on Monday granted interim transit pre-arrest bail to a writer, Rana Ayyub in connection with a ‘hate speech’ case registered against her on June 15 by the Loni Border police station in Uttar Pradesh over her posts on social media.
The Police said she allegedly made the posts without checking facts and giving a “communal angle’’ to a video of an old man being beaten.
Senior counsel Mihir Desai representing Ayyub sought urgent relief before Justice P D Naik. He said that she was globally renowned and only posted “based on news reports” of a man allegedly being attacked, and later June 16 deleted her June 14 posts.
The Ghaziabad police had on June 15 posted on their Twitter handle a statement mentioning that the alleged miscreants and the victims were known to each other and when positive results from amulets sold did not work, the incident occurred.
Her petition says she was neither the ‘original author of the news report’ nor the first to tweet but she is “being singled out unlawfully and unjustly’’ and “falsely implicated.’’
Desai, also submitted that Ayyub recently underwent a surgery and needs a few weeks to approach a court in UP for regular pre-arrest bail.
Ayyub, 37, in her petition before the HC says, she is at present a “Global Opinions Write for the Washington Post based in Mumbai’’ and lists out her numerous accomplishments and work experience of being an “important voice from South Asia.’’ She mentions that in 2018, the United Nations allotted six special rapporteurs to the Indian government to protect her safety, a first for an individual case in India.’’
The HC, without going into the merits of the case, granted her relief to enable her to approach the UP court. It directed that in the event of her arrest she be released on a PR bond of Rs 25000 with one or more sureties.
Ayyub apprehends arrest in a first information report (FIR) registered on June 15 in UP for offences punishable under sections 153 (wanton provocation to cause a riot), 153-A( promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth etc. and acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 295A (deliberate acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) along with criminal conspiracy, as there are five others accused.