HC relief for Bishnoi community man who ‘threatened’ actor Kunika Lal
The Bombay high court (HC) allowed the anticipatory bail of Santosh Bishnoi — a member of the Bishnoi community in Rajasthan — who was accused of harassing actor Kunika Lal for her alleged derogatory comments against the community in April 2018.
The Bishnoi community has been pursuing a case against actor Salman Khan regarding the poaching of black bucks. In April 2018, during a television talk show — while referring to the bail application of Khan — Lal had said that Bishnoi community members are hunters.
Santosh, offended by Lal’s comments, had called Lal and abused her. He also shared her number with other community members. The court held that as the evidence (mobile phone) was already seized by the police, Santosh could be allowed bail.
When Santosh’s anticipatory bail application came up for hearing, the bench of justice AS Gadkari was informed by the state that Lal had lodged a complaint with the Oshiwara police on April 9, 2018, against Santosh for threatening and abusing her over the phone.
The state further informed the court that other members of the Bishnoi community also called up Lal and used filthy language, blaming her for defaming the community. The complaint also mentioned abusive content being posted against her on social media platforms by the community members.
After perusing the investigation report, the court allowed Santosh’s application, stating that his mobile phone was already seized by the police and the offences against him, under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), were bailable with exception of section 67(A) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The court, however, directed Santosh not to interfere with the investigation or tamper with the evidence.
In April last year, when Lal was asked about the black buck poaching case against Khan, she had said that the Bishnoi community should not try to prosecute him. Instead, they should use him as an example to deter others from poaching.
Lal had further said that the Bishnoi community members were hunters — a statement which offended the members.