New Delhi, Oct 20 (ILNS) The Gauhati High Court granted anticipatory bail to Maini Mahanta, editor of ‘Nandini’ and Unique Borah, photographer of the magazine, who were apprehending arrest in a case lodged against them at Lumding Police Station for allegedly hurting the sentiments of Hindus by publishing a symbolic image of Goddess Durga in a distorted manner.
A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Hitesh Kumar Sarma granted bail to the two petitioners on October 16 on the condition of furnishing a bail bond of Rs 10,000 each with a surety of the like amount. The petitioners were further asked to follow certain conditions for pre-arrest bail, which include that the petitioners shall appear before the Investigating Police Officer of the concerned Police Station, within seven days from today and cooperate with the investigation. The petitioners shall not hamper the investigation, or tamper with the evidence of the case.
They shall not, directly or indirectly, make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case, so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer.
A case was lodged against the two by Pragjyotishpur Aikya Sangha, Hojai District Youth Committee.
The Court observed that a copy of the FIR has been furnished with the petition, although as stated by the Counsel for the petitioner as well as averred in the petition, a certified copy could not be collected and therefore, the Police Station case number could not be given.
“On consideration of the materials available before the Court, as of now, subject to a final decision on perusal of the materials, in the case diary, provided a case has already been registered, the petitioners are granted interim protection till the next date fixed,” the bench ordered.
It said the case diary be produced by the Investigating Officer, only if the case has been registered and investigation is carried out thereto. The Investigating Officer is also to inform the Court, in the event case diary is not furnished as to whether a case has been registered on the basis of the FIR.
“A copy of the order be furnished to Bora, Additional Public Prosecutor, during the course of the day so as to enable her to communicate with the concerned I/O,” ordered the Bench and fixed November 8 as the next date of hearing./ILNS/AP/SNG/