BY- MONIKA SHEORAN
A single-judge bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court presided by Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal while deciding the case of Gurpreet Singh and Others vs. The State of Punjab observed that a turban is an essential religious symbol.
In the case, the victim, a 65-year-old man, was assaulted and a video of his turban being forcefully removed was uploaded on a social media platform by the offender, Gurpreet Singh. While denying anticipatory bail to the perpetuator, the court remarked his act amounts to hurting the religious sentiments of the victim, punishable under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 66E of the Information and Technology Act, 2000 for violation of the privacy of the victim.
The advocate representing the petitioner sought anticipatory bail and argued that all the offences mentioned under the FIR were bailable and prima facie a case under Section 295A (hurting religious sentiments) was not made out. He also contended that there was a delay of one year and five months on part of the victim for registering the FIR.
The counsel of the victim refuted the delay and told the court that the police had on multiple occasions refused to file an FIR and it was only after the victim filed a petition regarding the same in the High Court that an FIR was registered by the local police.
While dismissing the petition of the offender seeking anticipatory bail, Justice Anupinder said that the allegations against him are of a serious nature and as opposed to what has been contended by the petitioner’s counsel, a prima facie case under Section 295A is made out.
The court made it clear that uploading a video of an injured elderly person on the Internet, while he is bleeding and his turban is being forcefully removed, would amount to hurting the religious sentiments.