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New Delhi: A local court in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar granted bail to controversial Hindu leader Yati Narsinghanand on Tuesday, February 15, in connection with a case where he is accused of making offensive and derogatory remarks against women, reports have indicated.
Judge Bharat Bhushan Pandey of the Haridwar Sessions Court ordered his release, overturning earlier judgment delivered by the court of the chief judicial magistrate (CJM), Haridwar, on January 19 where he was denied bail. Narsinghanand has been in judicial custody since January 16.
Since Narsinghanand has already received bail in the Haridwar Dharm Sansad case, he is set to be released from jail, according to the Hindutva leader’s lawyer.
After his comments went viral on social media, there was widespread condemnation. Subsequently, he was charged under Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Following the registration of an FIR (first information report), he was taken into judicial custody on January 16.
Soon after, Narsinganand moved the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Haridwar, for bail. However, CJM Mukesh Arya rejected his bail plea on January 19.
Rejecting his bail plea, Arya had said, “Despite being issued a Section 41A CrPC notice [notice of appearance before a police officer] in the past, he (Narsinghanand) is repeatedly making comments to incite communal passions and spoiling harmony/atmosphere through social media and there is a strong possibility of serious crimes being committed in the area.”
Later, Narsinghanand moved Haridwar Sessions Court with his bail plea, where he secured bail on Tuesday, February 14.
It may also be recalled that the controversial priest had already secured bail in the Haridwar Dharma Sansad case, where he along with others had allegedly issued calls for Muslim genocide. After being charged under Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the IPC, he was granted bail on February 7 by judge Bharat Bhushan Pandey of the Haridwar Sessions Court. The Sessions Court had allowed bail application in that case, subject to furnishing two sureties of Rs 50,000 and a personal bond of the same amount.