The court further observed that "with advancement of technology whatever positive social media might have provided, one thing is ensured that each and every act spreads like a wildfire."
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday granted interim bail to legendary Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan in a case filed under Section 295 (A) for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of the Sikh community. The court said that whether words used by the petitioner while performing on the stage were deliberate or malicious, which is a basic necessity for invoking Section 295A IPC, would be subject matter of the investigation.
The court granted interim bail to Maan subject to him joining investigation within a week.
The court further observed that “with advancement of technology whatever positive social media might have provided, one thing is ensured that each and every act spreads like a wildfire.”
“Suffice to say that an artist while performing on a stage has inclination to take the crowd along with him. No further comment is made at this stage,” held Justice Jhingan.
He said that Maan is a renowned Punjabi singer and not a personality who would be able to hide or abscond himself from investigation or trial. No recovery is to be made as the case is set up on a viral video, the court said.
“It would be pertinent to note at this stage that basic foundation of democracy is secularism and freedom of expression. However, with advancement of technology whatever positive social media might have provided but one thing is ensured that each and every act or conduct spreads like a wild fire,” added Justice Jhingan while pronouncing the order.
The judge observed that the petitioner by apologising has admitted the occurrence. The order added that issue is not about the disputing event, the apology could have been a step by the petitioner to resolve the issue in the nascent stage.
Maan has been booked based on a complaint filed by Paramjit Singh Akali, member of Sikh Youth Power of Punjab, alleging that Maan while performing in the Urs of Sai Murad Shah Ji at the premises of Dera Baba Murad Shah Ji Trust made certain comments which hurt the religious sentiments of a community.
For the complainant in the case, his counsel Advocates HPS Ishar, Kuljeet Kaur, Ramandeep Singh Gill, and Amar Singh Chahal appeared before HC.
Meanwhile, Gaurav Garg Dhuriwala, Senior Deputy Advocate General, Punjab, submitted that custodial interrogation is not required as no recovery is to be made.
Counsel for Maan, Senior Advocate RS Cheema, Advocates Arshdeep Singh Cheema and Tarannum Cheema, argued that no case is made out under Section 295 A of IPC as there was no deliberate or malicious intention of the petitioner.
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