The Hon’ble Supreme Court earlier this week on July 9, 2021, Friday dismissed a petition filed by a man seeking anticipatory bail in an FIR filed by the Uttar Pradesh Police Department over a Facebook post allegedly containing objectionable statements directed against the hon’ble Union minister Smriti Irani.
A bench of Justice Sanjat Kishan Kaul and Justice Hemant Gupta expressed reluctance to hear the plea submitted by one Shaharyar Ali, prompting the petitioner to withdraw it.
As a result, the petition was dismissed as withdrawn. The petitioner has been given two weeks to surrender and seek regular bail. He had appealed to the Supreme Court in response to the Allahabad High Court’s order on May 25,2021 to deny his plea for anticipatory bail.
Ramgarh police in Firozabad district lodged an FIR based on a complaint from a BJP member for violations under Section 505 (2) (deals with Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes) of the Indian Penal Code,1860 and Section 67A (deals with Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act,2000. It was claimed that his Facebook post about Smriti Irani incited hatred among groups and was vulgar.
The petitioner claimed before Allahabad high court that his Facebook account had been hacked and that the inappropriate content was posted without his knowledge. The Hon’ble High Court, on the other hand, rejected this argument, noting that he later apologized for the post.
The Hon’ble Court further stated that the content of the posts has the potential to foster animosity between communities.
The High Court also observed that "In the prima facie opinion of this Court, looking to the fact that the applicant is a senior teacher in a college and a Head of Department, conduct of this kind prima facie does not entitle him to the indulgence of anticipatory bail".