Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Thursday granted interim bail to Congress leader Pawan Khera hours after the latter was arrested by the Assam Police for calling Narendra Modi, ‘Narendra Gautamdas Modi’ in a press conference.
Khera was on his way to Raipur to take part in a three-day meeting of his party to discuss the election strategy. He was deplaned and arrested by the Assam Police, which report to the BJP government headed by Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The Congress moved swiftly and drew the attention of CJI Chandrachud, who was hearing a case related to the internal war of the Shiv Sena. The top court agreed to hear the matter at 3 PM.
Meanwhile, around 50 Congress leaders staged a sit-in protest at the tarmac of the Delhi airport accusing the Modi government of imposing emergency in the country.
During the hearing, lawyer AM Singhvi argued that Khera had apologised for his remarks on Modi saying that they were inadvertent. Singhvi expressed his surprise on the sections imposed in the case adding that each section had the provision of 5-7 years of imprisonment.
CJI Chandrachud passed the order granting Khera interim bail and clubbing of all the FIRs filed against the Congress leader in Uttar Pradesh and Assam.
The CJI, according to the Livelaw website, said, “In order to protect the petitioner until such date as he applied for regular bail before jurisdictional court, till the next date of listing, Petitioner shall be released on interim bail by magistrate.”
He added, “The above order shall stay in operation till Tuesday.”
Addressing Singhvi, the CJI said, “We have protected you but there has to be some level of discourse.”
Singhvi: In the first sentence, there are three FIRs… I’ll give that list to court master.
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) February 23, 2023
BJP leaders had raised objections to Khera’s use of ‘Gautamdas’ for Modi in reference to the PM’s relationship with industrialist Gautam Adani.