On Monday (2nd November 2020), The Allahabad High Court bail was granted to a person who was accused of making objectionable remarks against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other public representatives. However, the bail was given on the condition that he will not use social media for a period of 2 years or till the conclusion of trial before the Trial Court, whichever is earlier.
The bail plea was heard by a bench of Justice Siddharth. The bail had been filed on behalf of the applicant (Akhulanand Rao) in Case Crime No. 500 of 2020, under Section 419, 420, 120B IPC 66D of I.T. Act, Police Station Kotwali, District- Deoria during the pendency of the trial.
The allegation against the applicant was that objectionable remarks were made against the Chief Minister of the state and other public representatives and an FIR was lodged by the police. It was also alleged that he had falsely shown his status and tried to obtain undue advantages.
The applicant was in jail since 12.05.2020 and has a criminal history of 11 cases.
While considering the case of Dataram Singh V State of UP and another, reported in (2018) 3 SCC 22 and without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, the Court directed, “Let the applicant involved in the aforesaid crime be released on bail on his furnishing a personal bond and two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned.”
In this case, also, the court has put a condition that the Applicant will not use social media for a period of two years or till the conclusion of trial before the Trial Court, whichever is earlier.
Views of Other High Courts
In August 2020, the Madhya Pradesh High Court in the month of August while granting bail directed an accused who was a student to perform digital detoxication of him by not using Whatsapp, Facebook, or other Social Media for two months.
A student of Agriculture Science, Harendra Tyagi, was directed by Justice Anand Pathak to report about his digital detoxification at the police station and to complete his study of the Pre-Agriculture Test (PAT).
The Kerala High Court in September while granting bail to a Rape accused, had remarked that “heavens will not fall down if a condition is imposed in a bail order restraining the accused in a rape case in using social media, especially when it is to protect the victim girl’s privacy.”