HC grants interim protection to Delhi Minorities Commission chairman | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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HC grants interim protection to Delhi Minorities Commission chairman

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRicha Banka | Edited by Sabir Hussain
May 12, 2020 03:01 PM IST

The Delhi Police had booked Zafar-ul-Islam, Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission for sedition earlier this month.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted interim protection from arrest to Zafar-ul-Islam, chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission till June 22 following a plea for anticipatory bail after the police booked him for sedition for his social media posts earlier this month.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said no coercive action should be taken against Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Zafar ul Islam till June 22.(HT PHOTO)
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said no coercive action should be taken against Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Zafar ul Islam till June 22.(HT PHOTO)

Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri said that no coercive action should be taken against Islam till the next date of hearing (June 22) after he had moved the high court apprehending arrest in “a motivated, untenable and absolutely frivolous complaint” registered at the Lodhi Colony police station.

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He had also pleaded that the facts and grounds demonstrate that the registration of the FIR was a gross abuse of the process of law and also establish his innocence.

On Tuesday, advocates Vrinda Grover and Soutik Banerjee, told the court that no case was being made against their client. The plea said that Islam, in his social media posts highlighted the targeting of Muslims by “bigots” in India and expressed his thanks to Kuwait, for expressing concern on the issue harassment of Muslims in India.

“It is noteworthy that his social media posts make it evident that while acknowledging the international community’s support, he has emphatically stated that Indian Muslims do not seek or require external help in India. Despite offers of solidarity from foreign countries, he (Islam) has firmly taken the position of non-interference in India’s internal affairs,” the petition said.

The court sought to know from the Delhi police about the actions taken by them on the FIR. Appearing for the city police, advocate Chaitnaya Gosain, told the court that a notice has been issued to Islam under relevant section of the CrPC. He said that Islam has submitted some documents and information as sought by them.

Grover told the court that her client is ready to cooperate in the investigation but prior notice should be given because of his age and the lockdown.

The court then directed the Delhi police to give advance notice to Islam for questioning.

The petition had contended that a substantial portion of the hate speech and attacks on the Muslim community was in the form of spreading fake and fabricated news that vilifies Muslims and portrays them as spreading coronavirus. Misinformation was spread to target Muslims as carriers and spreaders of coronavirus. Such misinformation, including that members of the Tablighi Jamaat misbehaved with doctors was refuted by the local police on more than one instance.

Sedition is a non-bailable offence under the Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code and the punishment ranges from imprisonment up to three years to a life term.

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