No HC relief to Hindu Raksha Dal chief Pinky Chaudhary in hate slogans case

Updated on Aug 28, 2021 12:34 AM IST

Justice Mukta Gupta of the Delhi high court sought a status report from the Delhi Police and said, “Prima facie, there are all kinds of slogans and speeches being given. Let the status report be given.”

Hindu Raksha Dal leader Pinky Chaudhary.(ANI Photo)
Hindu Raksha Dal leader Pinky Chaudhary.(ANI Photo)
By, New Delhi

The Delhi high court on Friday declined to give interim protection from arrest to Pinky Chaudhary alias Bhupinder Tomar, president of the right wing Hindu Raksha Dal, for his alleged involvement in raising hate slogans at Jantar Mantar on August 8.

Justice Mukta Gupta of the Delhi high court sought a status report from the Delhi Police and said, “Prima facie, there are all kinds of slogans and speeches being given. Let the status report be given.”

The judge added: “I want to know where you were (at the time of sloganeering). You were not present at all? Let me have the complete status report.”

A video of anti-Muslim sloganeering during a protest at Jantar Mantar on August 8 was widely circulated on social media, following which the Delhi Police registered a case. Bharat Jodo Aandolan, the organisers, said that they had nothing to do with the hate slogans, and that they demonstrated against “colonial-era” rules.

On Friday, the court also issued notice to the Delhi Police on Tomar’s plea seeking anticipatory bail, and challenging an August 23 order of the trial court rejecting the pre-arrest bail application.

On August 21, additional sessions judge Anil Antil, while dismissing Tomar’s anticipatory bail, said, “We are not a Taliban state and the rule of law is the sacrosanct governing principle in our plural and multi cultural society.”

Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for Tomar, told the court that his client did not raise the slogans. He also submitted that the organiser of the event, lawyer and former BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay has already been granted bail.

Additional public prosecutor Tarang Shrivastava told the court he has shared a video and the transcript of the allegedly objectionable sloganeering to the court.

“The initial transcript is of the organisers. It shows he (Chaudhary) was very much part of the event. One video is that of a person who went live on Facebook and abused a particular community,” Shrivastava said.

Jain said the investigating agency is relying only on an interview given by his client to a local news channel.

“My client was not there. There is an interview they are relying on. The FIR [first information report] is for slogan chanting. I am not there in slogan chanting..” Jain argued.

To this the court said, “FIR is not the complete case, it is not the end of criminal prosecution. It is at an initial stage.”

The matter will now be heard on September 13.

The Hindu Raksha Dal — a right wing group — had claimed responsibility for the violence on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus in January 2020.

The Delhi Police on Thursday said that their investigation has revealed that the August 8 rally was planned months in advance.

Investigators associated with the case said that messages were circulated on different WhatsApp groups, and people from different groups participated in the rally.

“The people we have arrested so far are connected to each other. The organisers of the event sent invitations under the banner of Bharat Jodo Andolan. People were asked to join a group called Save India Foundation through a WhatsApp number that was mentioned on the invitation for the August 8 event. One of the arrested accused, Preet Singh is the convener of the Save India Foundation,” an investigator involved in the case said.

So far seven people, including Upadhyay, have been arrested in the case. Except Upadhyay, who is a lawyer, all other six arrested accused are associated with right wing groups, police said.

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    Reports from the Delhi High Court and stories on legal developments in the city. Avid mountain lover, cooking and playing with birds 🐦 when not at work

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