Bombay HC granted bail to BJYM President Tajinder Singh

Tajinder Singh Tiwana

Mumbai: A Mumbai Sessions Court granted anticipatory bail to BYJM (Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha) President Tajinder Singh Tiwana on Thursday after charges were filed against Tajinder Singh Tiwana for sloganeering outside a mosque on the occasion of Ram Navami.

The complaint against Tiwana was that he and some other members, urged people to play drums in front of mosques and that the drums were played to disrupt prayers and instill hate between the two religious communities. He was thus charged with offenses relating to hurting religious sentiments.

The court, while granting him relief, stressed the responsibility of the State to promote hatred amongst various communities in the country.

“The rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Constitution of India form the basic structure of the Constitution. It is the responsibility of the State to devise a mechanism, to ensure that the said rights are given effect, in letter and spirit. It is the responsibility of the State to ensure that all steps are taken to promote fraternity among different communities,” it stated.

During the hearing, His Advocate Madan Gupta said that he did not cause any injury to the religious feelings of any group, nor did he assault or use criminal force on anybody. Therefore, he claimed that any custodial interrogation was unnecessary.

On the other hand, the other party claimed that the alleged offenses were serious in nature, given their impact on society. He claimed that obstructing a community’s prayer by playing drums at a specific time might be considered an incitement to provoke a riot.

He claimed that if Tiwana and his associates had been harmed by azaan, they should have gone to court. He proposed interrogation in custody to find out if the crime was pre-planned.

The Court ruled that the substance of the charges were insufficient to warrant Tiwana’s detention, and thus granted him anticipatory bail.

“No purpose is going to be served, by interrogating the applicant, by taking him into custody. No slogans are said to have been raised by one community against another community, thereby directly instigating disharmony and creating hatred inter se two communities. In such scenario, the applicant is entitled to anticipatory bail.”

While issuing its order, the Court commented on the necessity for the State to focus on the factors that cause discord amongst communities and address them in a wise manner.

“The State must focus on different facets of the scenario, which ultimately results into disharmony, and address the same in such a prudent manner, as to ensure that there shall be no interference by anyone community into the religious feelings of any other community, so as to ultimately achieve the goal of fraternity, as sought to be promoted by the Constitution.”

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