Various Supreme Court leaders stood in solidarity with Senior Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay after he was arrested in the Jantar Mantar case in relation to the communal sloganeering at Bharat Jodo Aandolan. Upadhyay has been granted bail in the matter.
President of Supreme Court Bar Association Senior Adv Vikas Singh, Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra, Vice President of Supreme Court Bar Association Sr. Adv. Pradeep Rai, Senior Adv Gopal Sankarnarayanan and Advocate Ashwini Dubey represented Upadhyay in the matter before the court.
Upadhyay was invited as a speaker at Bharat Jodi Aandolan at Jantar Mantar on 8th August on the anniversary of Quit India movement. Upadhyay spoke about the importance of a Uniform Civil Code in India and the need to abolish colonial era laws which are ineffective in the contemporary India.
Upadhyay stated that he arrived at the event, gave his speech and left at around 12 noon when a crowd of people started gathering. Later that day, a video went viral with a man shouting communal slogans against Muslims from the same venue. Upadhyay filed a police complaint against the people in the video and requested investigation of the same. Upadhyay was detained by Police the next day and was later arrested and was sent to two days judicial custody.
Senior Supreme court advocates expressed their concern over his wrongful arrest. Senior Advocate Vikas (President Supreme Court Bar Association) stated that his arrest was unlawful. Upadhyay was neither present nor incited the communal sloganeering therefore he could not be arrested.
Senior Advocate Ashwani Dubey, who represented Upadhyay in court, said Police used its powers presided to them by the draconian laws which Upadhyay stood against to arrest him.
Vice President of Supreme Court Bar Association Senior Adv Pradeep Rai said the police should have done prior investigation before arresting Upadhyay. They have the latest technology, and nothing is stopping them from confirming Upadhyay’s location.
Singh also said that we believe in Upadhyay that’s why we are here. He could never do such a thing. He is a social reformer and works selflessly for the country.
Sr. Advocate Geeta Luthra spoke on the same lines when she said, his(Upadhyay’s) only concern is to bring secular laws in the country and he is working towards Uniform Civil Code. He has no other agenda.
The Delhi Court gave its judgement granting bail to Upadhyay.
The court concluded that there was nothing on record to show that the alleged hate speech to promote enmity was done at behest of or in the presence of the applicant(Upadhyay).
The Court said that liberty of a citizen can not be compromised on mere assertions and apprehensions.