- The Kerala High Court on Friday granted bail to senior politician P C George
- The court also imposed a bond of Rs. 50,000 and two sureties each in both cases
- George was arrested for inciting a hate among the people f the state
The Kerala High Court on Friday granted bail to senior politician P C George, who was arrested in two hate speech cases registered against him in Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam, respectively. Justice Gopinath P granted bail and imposed stringent conditions upon George, including furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties each in both cases.
A Magisterial court had on Wednesday canceled the bail granted to George after the police alleged that the veteran politician, released on bail earlier on May 1 after being arrested for making a hate speech against Muslims in the state on April 29, violated the bail conditions. "I am of the opinion that the petitioner can be granted relief. I am of the view that since both the offenses registered against the petitioner are punishable with maximum imprisonment of up to three years or a fine (unless the case were to come within Sub Section (2) of Section 153A), the continued detention of the petitioner may not be necessary," the court said in its bail order.
The high court allowed the bail application saying the politician is not likely to flee from justice. "The fact that a petitioner is a 72-year-old man stated to be suffering from various illnesses and the fact that he was a member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly for nearly 33 years also compels me to take the view that he is not likely to flee from justice. Accordingly, these applications for bail are allowed," the order read. The court asked George not to interfere with the investigation or try to influence or intimidate any witness in Thiruvananthapuram or Ernakulam.
"Petitioner shall fully co-operate with the investigation including with any scientific procedure that may be required by the prosecution; Petitioner shall not make any speech or statement which would tend to result in the commission of offenses under Sections 153A or 295A of the Indian Penal Code. The petitioner shall make himself available for interrogation as and when called upon to do so in writing," the order said. In his plea, George said the prosecution took bits and pieces of statements from the speech made by him and it cannot be alleged that the politician has committed an offense either under Section 153A or under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code. George claimed that he was falsely implicated.
On May 1, police had registered a case against George under IPC Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) at Fort Police station for allegedly making a communal speech against Muslims while addressing 'Ananthapuri Hindu Maha Sammelanam' on April 29.
Even though he was arrested on May 1, he was granted bail on the same day. The 70-year-old former MLA had sparked a controversy by asking non-Muslims in Kerala to avoid eating at restaurants run by the community. Subsequently, on May 10, another case was registered against him at Palarivattom police station in Ernakulam district on charges of hate speech related to another event here.