The applicant Rajesh Sharma a journalist who has been charged in a sedition case was granted interim bail by the Uttarakhand HC.
Justice Ravindra Maithani heard the matter through video conferencing were the applicant Rajesh Sharma seeks bail in FIR No. 265 of 2020, for which he charged under Section 420, 467, 468, 469, 471, 120-B 124-A IPC.
The Journalist has been charged for publishing the fake news against Dr Harendra Rawat and his wife Dr Savita Rawat which led to tarnishing the image of both the complainants.
The speculated news had made allegations that Dr Savita Rawat and the wife of Chief Minister of Uttarakhand are sisters and also the news item made some allegations on Chief Minister.
Mr Arun Nath Chaudhary, Advocate for the applicant has argued before the court that, he (Rajesh Sharma) has not been named in the FIR and he has been in custody for 35 days and also claimed that the allegations in the FIR do not make out a prima-facie case against him.
Advocate for the applicant had further stated that the applicant removed the news item/video from a Facebook post.
On behalf of the State, the Senior Advocate Mr P.S. Patwalia argued for the necessary custodial interrogation of the applicant claiming he is the man behind the entire operation, which he has admitted in para 12A & B of this Bail Application.
The Counsel for the State had further claimed that this is the 3rd attempt made by the applicant to destabilise the Government and two FIRs lodged earlier in 2018, one in the State of Uttarakhand and another in the State of Jharkhand.
The Court has raised many questions after looking into the FIR which was lodged on 31st July 2020 at 4:20 PM and the applicant was arrested at 11:00 PM the same night.
The Hon’ble court further questioned that, how Section 124-A IPC is added? And how the allegations made on some high functionary per se amount to sedition, which is punishable under Section 124-A?.
The court has raised many questions and asked the state to file the counter affidavit answering the following questions:
The court also questioned the State regarding the FIR, of which application is treated as FIR either the earlier application given by the informant or the instant application.
The court has granted Interim bail till the instant bail application is decided and the interim bail subject to furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 10,000/- only.
Finally, the court asked the State to file a counter affidavit within two weeks and listed this case on September 18.