A Delhi court on Saturday observed that the feeling of hurt by an individual cannot represent an entire group or community, while granting bail to a Delhi University professor Ratan Lal, who was arrested for allegedly posting a derogatory content on social media after the ‘discovery’ of ‘Shivling’ inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi during a video survey.
Following this, a Delhi-based advocate, Vineet Jindal, had complained to the Delhi Police over the “instigating and provoking statement”.
“India is a country of more than 130 crore people and any subject can have 130 crore different views and perceptions,” the court said during the hearing of the bail plea of the professor who was arrested on Friday night by the Delhi Police.
“It is true that the accused did an act which was avoidable considering the sensibilities of persons around the accused and the public at large. However, the post, though reprehensible, does not indicate an attempt to promote hatred between communities,” the court noted.
It further said: “The undersigned, in personal life, is a proud follower of the Hindu religion and would call the post to be a distasteful and unnecessary comment made on a controversial topic. For another person, the same post can appear to be shameful but may not incite the feeling of hatred toward another community. Similarly, different persons may consider the post differently without being enraged and may in fact feel sorry for the accused to have made an unwanted comment without considering the repercussions.”
The order said the anxiety of police can be understood as the police are asked to maintain peace and order and at the slightest hint of unrest would come into action to prevent the situation from going out of hand.
“However, the court has to employ higher standards while considering the need to send a person to custody,” it highlighted.
It was further observed that the accused is a person of good repute with no criminal antecedent and there is no likelihood of the accused fleeing the course of the law.
Accordingly, the bail to the professor was granted on furnishing a sum of Rs 50,000 with one surety of like amount.