The Supreme Court today granted interim bail of three months to Jeetendra Narayan Tyagi — converted from Waseem Rizvi — an accused in the Haridwar ‘hate speech’. Following the Dharam Sansad event, Tyagi had released a video exposing the real character of Prophet Muhammad and the Muslim community.
The court granted the relief based on an undertaking from the accused that he will not indulge in hate speech or make any such statements on electronic media, digital or social media platforms.
A bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and Vikram Nath granted the bail on an application moved by Tyagi, who was then the chairperson of Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board, before he converted to Hinduism on 6 December last year.
Tyagi was accused of making insulting remarks against the Muslim community at the Haridwar Dharam Sansad on 19 December. A charge sheet was also filed against him.
The Supreme Court bench granted him bail following his petition claiming that he had a medical condition that needed urgent treatment.
The apex court directed senior advocate Vikas Singh, who appeared along with advocate Pulkit Srivastava for Tyagi, to advise his client not to repeat ‘hate speech’ and to maintain harmony in society.
Issuing notice on Tyagi’s bail plea on 12 May, the court said, “Stay together peacefully, enjoy life.”
Uttarakhand Police had booked Tyagi for offences relating to promoting enmity between religious groups (Section 153A) and uttering words aimed to wound the religious feelings of any person (Section 298) of the Indian Penal Code. He approached the top court after the Uttarakhand high court refused him bail on 8 March.
The bench had on an earlier occasion found Tyagi’s statements to be in bad taste. “This is something which is spoiling the whole atmosphere,” the court said.
When his lawyers argued that they need to be sensitive to the interests of other citizens in the country, the bench replied, “Before they ask to sensitise others, they have to be themselves sensitised first.”
Along with Tyagi, the organiser of the Haridwar event Yati Narsinghanand, who is the head priest of Ghaziabad’s Dasna Devi temple, was also arrested. However, he got bail, and Tyagi’s counsel referred to this very ruling to seek relief.