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A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Delhi in-charge Dilip Pandey and two other AAP members, who were arrested for allegedly creating enmity between different groups by putting up provocative posters in Jamia Nagar.
The two other AAP members who have been granted bail are Ram Kumar Jha and Javed.
Metropolitan Magistrate Sheetal Chaudhary granted bail on the condition that the accused would fully co-operate with the investigation, not tamper with evidence and will not influence witnesses. The magistrate also ordered the accused not to leave the country without prior permission of the court. They were granted bail after furnishing a personal bond of Rs 30,000 each with surety of like amount.
Seeking bail for the three AAP members, defence counsel Rahul Mehra argued that the case was a “political conspiracy” and that the prosecuting agency was acting as the “mouthpiece” of the Centre. “The prosecuting agency has not been able to establish Section 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups) against them... mens rea (guilty mind) should not be based on the whims and fancies of the prosecuting agency which is acting as the mouthpiece of the Centre,” the defence said.
To strengthen his argument, Mehra cited various Supreme Court and High Court orders to show that the alleged act does not come under the category of “grave offences” and that the accused are not “hardened criminals”. He said that as far as other two accused Ahmed and Jha were concerned, it was a case of “negligence” on their part which was to be taken care of.
Public prosecutor Nidhi Bala, however, argued against the bail plea stating that the investigation in the case is still underway.
The prosecutor also opposed the plea on grounds that the fresh charges pressed against the accused under the Information Technology Act and Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, should be considered. Arguing for an extension of judicial custody, the prosecutor said, “Our intention is to prevent the accused from influencing the witnesses.”
The court had, on July 19, sent Pandey, Jha and Javed to judicial custody till August 2 for trying to incite tension by putting up posters alleging that Muslim leaders of the Congress were going to help the BJP to form a government in Delhi.