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MP High Court Dismisses Bail Plea of Cong Leader Pateria

MADHYA PRADESH: The MP court rejected the bail application of Congress leader and former state minister Raja Pateria in connection to his controversial remarks on PM Modi. The bail application was moved under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The single judge bench of Justice Sanjay Dwivedi opined that prima facie looking at the period of Pateria’s incarceration, that is, December 13, 2022, and the manner of the alleged crime, if bail had been granted to him, it would have sent a wrong message to the society. He, however, permitted Pateria to resuscitate the plea after a period of 30 days through a new application.

He said he had given anxious consideration to the submissions made on behalf of rival parties by considering the overall facts and circumstances and perusing an integral part of the case diary and watching the video contained in a CD.

However, the sanctity of video-clipping cannot be tested at this stage, and treating the same to be true would not be proper for consideration at the stage of bail, the court said.

Pateri’s lawyer argued that the speech was being given a false color by the prosecution by manipulating the concerned video clip out of politically oriented animosity. The prosecution opposed the bail application and prayed for its dismissal, saying it is highly unexpected for a political leader to “overtly disparage” the image of a rival leader that too of the prime minister of India. The prosecution also submitted statements by eyewitnesses available on record.

Pateria allegedly used filthy and intimidating language during a Congress meeting and asked the people to “kill” PM Modi in order to save the Constitution. He allegedly instigated the persons of minorities in the wake of their religion, caste, and language.

The matter became a legal issue when his video made rounds on social media. A case was registered against him on December 12, at Pawai police station in Panna under Sections 451, 504, 505(1)(B), 505(1)(C), 506, 153-B(1)(C), 115, 117 of Indian Penal Code. He was arrested from his residence in Hata town of Damoh district and is currently in judicial custody.

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