Allahabad HC grants pre arrest bail to man accused of offering Namaz at temple
Chand Mohammad, along with Human Rights Defender Faisal Khan have been accused of offering Namaz at a temple without the priest’s consent in Mathura
Justice Siddharth of the Allahabad High Court has granted pre arrest bail to Mohammad Chand who is accused of performing Namaz inside a temple without the consent of the priest along with co accused Faisal Khan, who is out on bail.
The single-judge bench said, “In the event of arrest, the applicant shall be released on anticipatory bail.” An FIR was registered after photographs of the accused persons offering namaz went viral on social media and the television. It was alleged, “This act of the applicant and co-accused shows disrespect for the religious feeling of other communities, and there is possibility of deterioration in the communal harmony. It is also suspected that the applicants are receiving foreign funds.”
The arguments put forth by the applicant’s counsel contended that co-accused, Faisal Khan, is a renowned social activist who revived Khudai Khidmatgar movement of India striving to maintain communal harmony for the last 25 years and that the “Applicant is his companion.”
The counsel argued that in this regard the accused persons undertook a yatra to visit all temples and that he was also offered prasad and lunch by the Chief Priest of the temple. He further submitted that the applicant has been falsely implicated in this case.
“Only on the basis of photographs which went viral, the applicant cannot be said to have intention to disturb the communal harmony of the society. He did not enter into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, rather he performed Namaz outside the temple with the permission of the priest of the temple as clear from the viral photographs. The allegation of receiving foreign funds is without basis”, he added.
But the Government advocate pleaded that only on the basis of fear, the applicant cannot be granted anticipatory bail. While observing that there is a case registered/about to be registered against the applicant and it couldn’t be definitely said when the police may apprehend him, Justice Siddharth noted, “The courts have repeatedly held that arrest should be the last option for the police and it should be restricted to those exceptional cases where arresting the accused is imperative or his custodial interrogation is required. Irrational and indiscriminate arrests are a gross violation of human rights.”
Without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case and considering the nature of accusations and antecedents of the applicant, he was directed to be enlarged on anticipatory bail.
Peace Activist and co accused Faisal Khan, who was arrested in the same regard has already been granted bail by the Allahabad High Court on December 18, 2020.
Courtesy : Sabrang