NEW DELHI: Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, accused of writing an “inflammatory” article in a Mumbai daily, was Monday granted anticipatory bail by the Delhi High Court.
“In the event of arrest, he shall be released on furnishing of a personal bond and a surety of Rs 25,000 each,” Mr Justice M L Mehta said while taking on record Swamy’s undertaking that he would refrain from writing such articles in future.
“Though writing an article based on a book is a fundamental right of a citizen but this right has to be observed with certain reasonable restrictions which have to be taken care of,” the court said.
It also appreciated Swamy for giving an unequivocal undertaking that he will obey the restrictions imposed on him.
“You are a very wise man. You write whatever you want to write but follow the reasonable restrictions. I appreciate your gesture of filing an undertaking,” Mr Justice Mehta said while disposing of Swamy’s bail application.
In response to court’s observation that India is a secular country and emotions of every section of the society have to be respected, Swamy said, “I have Muslim relatives. I have Christian relatives. I have a Parsi wife.”
The court also observed that no case of communal disharmony has been reported in the country after publication of the alleged inflammatory article in a newspaper on July 16 last year.
The Delhi Police had earlier opposed Swamy’s anticipatory bail plea, saying he should not be granted bail as the matter was serious.
Senior advocate Mr K T S Tulsi, arguing for Swamy, however, had countered the police plea, saying two police stations in the capital had refused to register the case on private complaints by others as no incident of communal disharmony after the publication of the alleged “inflammatory” article had occurred.
Referring to a Supreme Court judgement, Mr Tulsi had said the personal liberty of person can be curtailed only under extreme circumstance, which was not the case here.
Swamy had moved the high court on January 12, seeking anticipatory bail in the case filed against him in October last year by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police, on a direction from the National Commission for Minorities, for writing the article, which, it said, tended to spread communal enmity.
Swamy had moved the high court for anticipatory bail on January 12 and the following day he was granted interim relief from arrest till January 30.
Swamy’s counsel had argued that this case was lodged to harass him as he (Swamy) had exposed the 2G scam against the government.
The counsel also said Swamy had written the article based on a book, which he had written six years ago, but no untoward incident had happened after that, but the police suddenly registered a case against him soon after he exposed the 2G scam.