The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted interim protection from any coercive action to minorities commission chief Dr Zafarul Islam Khan in relation to the sedition case against him. The court will take up the matter again on June 22. The bail plea was filed by Supreme Court advocate Vrinda Grover.
The case against Dr Khan relates to a social media comment he made on April 28, in which he had thanked Kuwait “for standing with Indian Muslims”, in the light of the recent sharp reaction from the Arab world towards “the growing tide of Islamophobia in India”.
In a Facebook post on April 28, he had said, “The Hindutva bigots calculated that given the huge economic stakes involved the Muslim and Arab world will not care about the persecution of Muslims in India”.
Dr Khan had also reportedly commented, “Mind you, bigots, Indian Muslims have opted until now not to complain to the Arab and Muslim world about your hate campaigns and lynchings and riots. The day they are pushed to do that, bigots will face an avalanche.”
Dr Khan’s plea for anticipatory bail had sought for urgent relief of protection from arrest and coercive action in a case that the petition described as “frivolous”, “untenable” and “motivated”. The plea, filed through senior lawyer Vrinda Grover, claimed that the allegations made in the police’s FIR report lacked legal merit and distorted facts and was a gross abuse of the law, reported Live Law.
Dr Khan, in his petition, also pointed out that numerous hate speech and remarks have been made since March. It also highlighted instances of attacks against Muslims in relation to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
“There’s false, inflammatory, malicious and distorted media coverage of the petitioners’ social media posts have already had the effect of inciting hatred against the Petitioner, and causing him to be held in contempt in the eyes of the public,” the plea read. It further added that complaints against Dr Khan had been filed with the intention to gain publicity.