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Approval of anticipatory bail for actor-comedian Khyali in connection with an FIR regarding his purported comments about Maharishi Valmiki.

PUNJAB & HARYANA HIGH COURT

Khyali Ram

Vs.

State of Punjab

Date of decision: 16.08.2023

CRM M- 39814 of 2023

CORAM: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Rajbir Sehrawat

FACT:

The current plea has been lodged under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, seeking anticipatory or pre-arrest bail for the petitioner in relation to FIR No. 147 dated 29.09.2022. This FIR was filed under Sections 295 and 295-A of the Indian Penal Code at Rajasansi Police Station in Amritsar (see Annexure P1). The petitioner’s attorney argues that the charges against the petitioner are entirely baseless and fabricated. According to the petitioner, they are not connected to the alleged crime. Even if we consider the prosecution’s claims, the petitioner supposedly made some disrespectful remarks about Maharishi Valmiki during a press conference. However, while the petitioner did address members of the media, their words were intended to highlight the admirable qualities and presence of Maharishi Valmiki, rather than to diminish his stature.

COURT ANALYSIS AND DECISION:

The State’s lawyer, following guidance from ASI Subhash Chander, has conveyed that the police were informed about the petitioner’s alleged attempt to offend the religious sentiments of a specific community. This is why the mentioned FIR was appropriately filed against the petitioner. Nonetheless, it was acknowledged that there are no other charges against the petitioner, and the mentioned statements were made within the boundaries of the state of Rajasthan. Considering the aforementioned details, and refraining from making any judgments on the case’s merits, the current petition was granted.

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Written by- Srijan Garg

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