The Kerala High Court on Friday, May 27 granted bail to senior politician P C George in a hate speech case registered against him in Thiruvananthapuram. The former MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) was arrested on Wednesday after a Magisterial court in Thiruvananthapuram cancelled the bail granted to the veteran politician in a case accusing him of making a hate speech against Muslims on April 29.
"The petitioner is to be released on bail subject to the condition that he shall not make any speech or statement which shall result in commission of any offence under 153A or 295A of the IPC. If the petitioner violates any of the conditions, it is open to the prosecution to move this court to cancel his bail,” said Justice Gopinath P, pronouncing the order.
The Magisterial court had on Wednesday cancelled the bail granted to George saying that the speech given by him at a temple festival at Vennala in Ernakulam district on May 8 violated the bail conditions. Earlier, in the same case, police had arrested George on May 1 for allegedly making a communal speech against Muslims while addressing the 'Ananthapuri Hindu Maha Sammelanam' on April 29. However, he was given bail on the same day itself.
The 70-year-old former MLA had sparked off a controversy by asking non-Muslims in Kerala to avoid eating at restaurants run by the community. Subsequently, on May 10, another case was registered against him at Palarivattom police station in Ernakulam on charges of hate speech related to another event in Kochi. He was arrested on May 25 for violating the bail conditions in the Thiruvananthapuram hate speech case.
Earlier on May 26, hours after PC George, arrested by the police following cancellation of his bail in connection with a hate speech case, was sent to judicial remand by a magisterial court on Thursday, the Kerala High Court asked the state what was the purpose of keeping him in custody if police had video recordings of the speeches made by him.
The query by the High Court was posed to the state government during hearing of George's two pleas -- one seeking anticipatory bail in a hate speech case registered at Palarivattom police station and the other appealing against the cancellation of his bail in another hate speech case lodged against him in Thiruvananthapuram.
It asked the Director General of Prosecution to answer the queries, posed by it, on the next date of hearing -- Friday, May 27. The court also said that George's pleas would be considered on that day and as a result, he would have to spend at least one more day in jail.
During the hearing before the high court, the politician's lawyers urged the court to grant him interim bail.
They also contended that he was questioned for a long time at Palarivattom police station to await the bail cancellation order from the magisterial court in Thiruvananthapuram.
His lawyers also alleged that the magisterial court cancelled his bail based on the case lodged at the Palarivattom police station and the same was not right.