Kerala

Court cancels George's anticipatory bail in hate speech case

P.C. George

P.C. George | Photo Credit: VIPIN CHANDRAN

A magistrate court here on Wednesday revoked the anticipatory bail granted to Kerala Janapaksham (Secular) leader and former legislator P. C. George in a communally provocative hate speech case registered at Fort police station here in early May.

The Judicial First Class Magistrate-II, Thiruvananthapuram, who rescinded the earlier order, said the police were free to arrest Mr. George.

Meanwhile, Mr. George turned up at the Palarivattom police station in Kochi in another similar case, triggering media speculation that the police would detain him.

Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) workers turned up in strength at Palarivattom to support Mr. George. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) workers were also present to press for Mr. George's arrest. The police have asked the groups to disperse peacefully.

The Fort police had booked Mr. George for allegedly inciting hate against a particular minority community at the Anandapuri Hindu Sammelan.

The prosecution case against Mr. George was that he had attempted to stoke communal discord by flagging divisive dog-whistle issues.

The police alleged that Mr. George had portrayed inter-faith unions as "love jihad". They also accused the politician of underscoring an "unfounded" fundamentalist conspiracy to increase the numbers of a particular minority community to disempower others.

Mr. George's contentious comments had triggered a political storm. The ruling front and opposition condemned his remarks.

Nevertheless, Congress turned against the government for "enabling" Mr. George to get advance bail quickly on a charge of a severe and "seditious" nature.

In contrast, the BJP had thrown its weight behind Mr. George. Its leaders accused the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] of hounding Mr. George to appease "extremists" for political gain in the Thrikkakara Assembly by-election on May 31.

Consequently, the government moved a petition in court claiming that the magistrate had accorded bail to Mr. George without hearing the prosecution.

It argued that the court had not accorded the prosecuting officer chance to make his submission. The prosecution alleged that Mr. George had repeated the offence at subsequent public meetings and media interactions.

The prosecution presented video recordings of Mr. George's alleged infringement of the bail condition set by the court to justify its plea.

Mr. George is likely to appeal against the magistrate's decision.


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 10:10:28 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/court-cancels-georges-anticipatory-bail-in-hate-speech-case/article65459798.ece