The Delhi High Court on Friday granted anticipatory bail to Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, former chairperson of Delhi Minorities Commission, in an FIR registered against him alleging sedition and promoting religious enmity.
However, the court has barred Dr Khan from leaving Delhi without giving prior intimation to the concerned Investigating Officer (IO).
Advocate Vrinda Grover, on behalf of the petitioner, submitted that the petitioner had already deposited his laptop with the IO. He has answered all the questions raised by the IO upon joining the investigation on June 16 and 18.
Grover added that the petitioner is about 72 years of age. It was also submitted to the court that Dr Khan is ready to join the investigation as and when he is directed to do so. Delhi Police informed the court that Dr Khan is no longer required for any further investigation.
Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri, accordingly, granted anticipatory bail. He directed that in the event of arrest Dr Khan will be released on bail on a personal bond of Rs.50,000/- with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the concerned IO/SHO.
On May 12, the High Court had granted interim protection to Dr Zafarul Islam Khan from coercion action against him. The interim protection continued until a decision on granting anticipatory bail to him.
Delhi police had lodged a case against Dr Zafarul after he had tweeted a post “highlighted the targeting of Muslims by ‘bigots’ in India and expressed his thanks to Kuwait, for expressing international concern on the issue of the Muslim minority in India”.
Khan contended that his social media post was falsely reported and sensationalized out of context by certain sections of the media. He alleged that he was being maligned in order to embarrass him and to tarnish the stellar work that he had been doing as Chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission.
Dr Zafarul Islam Khan submitted that the FIR against him was mala fide and misconceived. He argued that it was based on misrepresentation of facts and untenable reading of the law.
Advocates Ratna Appender and Soutik Banerjee assisted Grover in the matter.