Ladakh Councilor arrested for mocking remarks gets bail

J&K High Court on Thursday granted bail to a Councilor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil, who was arrested in June this year after an audio clip surfaced on social media in which he was mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and army, amid face-off between India and China on Line of Actual Control.

The police had filed the chargesheet against the Councilor, Zakir Hussain, in the trial court, for committing offences under Section 124A (sedition), 153A, 153B, 505(2) and 188 of IPC at police station Kargil.

Citing a Supreme Court judgment, a bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar held that in the observations made by the apex court it was clear that mere expression of derogatory or objectionable words may not be a sufficient ground for invoking provisions contained in Section 124A or 153A of IPC.

While the Court held that the investigation of the case was complete as chargesheet has been filed, it said the petitioner was not alleged to have committed an offence which carries capital punishment.

“As such, the rigor of Section 437(1)(i) of the Code of Criminal Procedure is not attracted to the instant case,” the Court said.

The Court also observed that the case diary showed that immediately after commission of alleged offence by the petitioner, he had published a public apology and expressed his regrets.