While denying Congress Raja Pateria bail, the Madhya Pradesh High Court stated recently that public figures are not expected to use vulgar language demeaning the reputation of persons in powerful positions like the President or the Prime Minister. Pateria was detained last month on suspicion of using derogatory and threatening words to describe Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a speech at a Congress meeting. According to Justice Sanjay Dwivedi, the applicant, a public figure, had no right to criticise the nation's prime minister in such a way or to aid a crowd in committing a crime. The Court stated that a public figure should exercise caution when choosing statements that might divert the attention of his supporters or viewers. The Court also voiced worry over the trend among some public officials to pursue popularity among followers regardless of the repercussions. The Court stated that this behaviour is not only diminishing public leaders' standing in society but is also contributing to a rise in political crime. It is not customary for public leaders to use derogatory language that harms the reputation of high-ranking officials like the president and prime minister and causes commotion in the community.
Pateria is also charged with inciting people from linguistic and religious minorities as well as based on their caste for his claimed conduct. Criminal intimidation, aiding and abetting, and other offences under the Indian Penal Code were mentioned in the first information report (FIR) filed against him (IPC). The senior counsel representing Pateriya said that by tampering with the videotape, the prosecution had painted the incident in a deceptive light. He argued that Pateriya had spoken regularly the entire time he was giving the speech. He continued by saying that political leaders typically advance their goals by disparaging the accomplishments or virtues of opposition party leaders. The senior counsel contended that Pateria was just engaging in a political stunt and had no desire to cast aspersions on anyone's reputation or way of life or to wreak havoc on society.
The prosecutor, however, contended that there are statements from numerous witnesses that have been recorded that demonstrate Pateria's disorderly behaviour. Additionally, he informed the Court that video clips demonstrated Pateria's use of aggressive language in a speech that attacked the Prime Minister's reputation and involved plans to kill him.
The Court finally dismissed the bail request after hearing the arguments and observing that such a release might send an incorrect message to society. The Court took into account several things, including Pateria's time spent in prison and how the crime was purported to have been perpetrated.
The judges did add that Pateria is free to resurrect the request for bail by submitting a new application after 30 days. Pateria was defended by senior advocates Shashank Shekhar and Samresh Katare, while the State was represented by advocate Pramod Thakre.