The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has allowed anticipatory bail application to the Founding-Editor of the Wire, SiddharthVaradarajan.
Rejecting the argument that the applicant may flee the Bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh has allowed his pre-arrest bail plea on his executing a personal bond to the tune of Rs.2,00,000/- with two sureties each to the satisfaction of the learned trial Court concerned.
Two FIRs were registered against him on April 1, at City Kotwali and AyodhyaKotwali Police Station, for making “false claims” on Twitter that Adityanath had attended a religious eventin Ayodhya on the occasion of Ram Navmi on 25 March amidst the national lockdown.
Consequently, Varadarajan had moved the High Court seeking anticipatory bail which was first listed on May 8 before Justice Jaspreet Singh. The matter was posted to May 11 before the appropriate bench for recording the Government’s response, after the AGA informed the Court that a charge sheet had been filed.
On May 11, Justice Chandra Dhari Singhadjourned the matter on account of non-availability of Additional Advocate General, who was to argue the matter.
Hence, the case was listed today.
On April 10, Varadarajan’s wife NandiniSundar had made a series of tweets, claiming that a “plainclothes” man visited their house on behalf of the “Ayodhyaprashasan” to serve a notice of appearance on Varadarajan under Section 41A of CrPC. She alleged that the man had refused to reveal his identify and had flouted the social distancing norms.
She also alleged that Varadarajan was asked to appear in Ayodhya for recording his statement on April 14 while the lockdown was still in force.
However later, SHO at Ayodhya Police Station clarified that they had asked Varadarajan to send his statement email.
Further terming the registration of FIR against as “an act of intimidation”, the Editors Guild of India had issued a statement on April 2, expressing deep anguish over the UP Government’s act of trying to “disable” the media autonomy.
Case Title: SiddharthVaradarajan v. State of UP &Anr.
Case No.: Bail No. 2776/2020