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The Patna High Court Grants Bail To Student Who Shared Objectionable Facebook Post On Hindu God, Goddess [READ ORDER]

In Jawed Akhtar v. State of Bihar, the Court granted bail after noting that the accused, Jawed Akhtar has been in custody since August 9, 2020 and has no criminal antecedents.

By:  Surbhi Kumari, Amity University Patna.

Jawed Akhtar, a person from Bhagalpur is the petitioner in the present case. The allegation against the petitioner as per the First Information Report is that the petitioner has shared some objectionable Facebook photographs of Hindu God and Goddess.

The petitioner has sought regular bail for the offences punishable under Section 153(A) promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) and Section 294 (obscene acts and songs) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 67 publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and Section 67(A)  (punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit acts) of Information Technology Act.

Learned counsel for the petitioner has submitted that the petitioner has not committed any offence in the manner alleged and there was no intention of the petitioner to hurt the religious feelings of other communities. Learned counsel further submitted that from a perusal of the First Information Report, it would be evident that the petitioner has shared the post of one Reehan Khan and that the post in question did not originate from the Facebook account of the petitioner. Learned counsel also submitted that the petitioner is a 20 years old young boy and he is a student.

Learned counsel further submitted that from a perusal of the First Information Report, it would be evident that the petitioner has shared the post of one Reehan Khan and that the post in question did not originate from the Facebook account of the petitioner.

Learned counsel next submitted that Section 294 Indian Penal Code, Sections 67 and 67(A) of I.T. Act are bailable offences and from a perusal of the allegation against the petitioner, it appears that Section 153(A) is not attracted. Learned counsel also submitted that the petitioner had remained in custody since 9.8.2020 having no criminal antecedent and a charge sheet had already been submitted in the matter.

A single-judge Bench of Justice Anil Kumar Sinha granted bail to Akhtar after noting that he has been in custody since August 9, 2020, and has no criminal antecedents.

It was said that “Having regard to the submissions made by the parties and taking into consideration the materials on record and the fact that the petitioner is a student and charge sheet has already been submitted in the matter as well as he is in custody since 9.8.2020 having no criminal antecedent, I am inclined to grant regular bail to the petitioner.”

The Court after taking into consideration the fact of petitioner’s young age and that he is a student, alongwith the submissions and records, granted bail to petitioner.

The petitioner had been released on regular bail on furnishing bail bonds of Rs.10,000/- (Ten thousand) with two sureties. It was made clear that at the time of furnishing bail bonds, all the parties shall follow the guidelines regarding social distancing.

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