After two months of his arrest, Allahabad High Court on Wednesday granted bail to journalist Prashant Kanojia in the case pertaining to the sharing an allegedly fake post related Ram Temple on social media.
A bench of Justice A R Masoodi passed the order on the bail plea of Kanojia, reported Bar and Bench. Kanojia had pleaded that he was innocent and was implicated due to secondary reasons.
Uttar Pradesh police had arrested Kanojia on August 18 from his residence in Delhi for posting morphed tweets related to the issue of Ayodhya's Ram Mandir stating that it 'disrupted communal harmony'.
Following, an FIR was registered at Hazratganj Police Station stating that Kanojia had shared a morphed image of the post shared by Hindu Seva Chief Sushil Tiwari with an intent to defame Tiwari's image and promote enmity between the communities. The FIR further read that his tweet threatened law and order.
Prashant spent an extra month in jail, as the court, during the last hearing, had alloted four weeks time to state government to respond to the bail plea moved by the journalist.
The journalist was denied bail earlier by session courts in Lucknow and had moved the High Court on September 8. His wife, Jagisha Arora tweeted about Kanojia's release.
According to the FIR, Kanojia's tweet had a picture of Hindu Army leader Sushil Tiwari with a caption that said the Ram temple in Ayodhya should not allow Dalits, STs and OBCs entry. Earlier, Tiwari had posted an image demanding Vedic studies to replace Islamic studies in UPSC.
Whereas, in the image posted by Prashant, the background was the same but the text was different and read that No Shudra, SC, ST or OBCs will be allowed inside Ram Mandir.
This was the third time UP Police has registered an FIR against Kanojia in connection with a social media post. Earlier, Kanojia was arrested for tweeting about Chief Minister Adityanath, however, the Supreme Court had asked the government to release him.
Prashant was booked under several sections including Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 465 (punishment for forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation), 500 (punishment for defamation), 500 (1)(B) (with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquillity), and 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) of the Indian Penal Code and 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.