SC grants 3-month conditional bail to Haridwar hate speech accused Jitendra Tyagi

ByAbraham Thomas
May 17, 2022 04:29 PM IST

The court granted the relief based on an undertaking that he will not indulge in hate speech or make any such statements on electronic media, digital or social media platforms

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted interim bail of three months to Jitendra Narayan Tyagi, formerly ‘Wasim Rizvi’, an accused in the Haridwar hate speech. The court granted the relief based on an undertaking that he will not indulge in hate speech or make any such statements on electronic media, digital or social media platforms.

Jitendra Narayan Tyagi, alias Wasim Rizvi (FILE PHOTO)
Jitendra Narayan Tyagi, alias Wasim Rizvi (FILE PHOTO)

The order was passed by a bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and Vikram Nath on an application moved by Tyagi, who was then the chairperson of Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board, before he converted to Hinduism on December 6 last year.

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Tyagi was accused of making insulting remarks against the Muslim community at the Haridwar Dharam Sansad on December 19. A charge sheet was also filed against him.

The bench granted him bail following his petition claiming that he had a precarious medical condition.

The SC directed senior advocate Vikas Singh, who appeared along with advocate Pulkit Srivastava for Tyagi, to advice his client not to indulge in any hate speech and maintain harmony in society.

Issuing notice on Tyagi’s bail plea on May 12, the court said, “Stay together peacefully, enjoy life.”

The Uttarakhand police earlier booked Tyagi for offences relating to promoting enmity between religious groups (Section 153A) and uttering words aimed to wound the religious feelings of any person (Section 298) of the Indian Penal Code. He approached the top court after the Uttarakhand high court refused him bail on March 8.

Following the Dharam Sansad event, Tyagi released a video containing insinuations against Prophet Muhammad and the Muslim community.

The bench had on an earlier occasion found Tyagi’s statements to be in bad taste. “This is something which is spoiling the whole atmosphere,” the court said.

When his lawyers argued that they need to be sensitive to interests of other citizens in the country, the bench replied, “Before they ask to sensitise others, they have to be themselves sensitised first.”

Along with Tyagi, the organiser of the Haridwar event Yati Narsinghanand, who is the head priest of Ghaziabad’s Dasna Devi temple, was also arrested. However, he got bail, and Tyagi’s counsel referred to this very ruling to seek relief.

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