UPDATED: February 17, 2021 10:43 IST
Activist Shantanu Muluk, a suspect in a case registered by the Delhi Police in connection with a toolkit shared by Greta Thunberg about the ongoing farmers’ protest, on Tuesday got temporary anticipatory bail from the Bombay High Court.
During the hearing, Justice Vibha Kankanwadi said, “Apprehension of arrest is the key factor that is required to be considered in such applications.”
What happened in court?
Shantunu Muluk had not made the Delhi Police a party to the plea and this was an objection also raised by the advocate representing the Maharashtra government. Government pleader SY Mahajan argued that neither the FIR of the Delhi Police was attached to the petition nor was it made a party for the court to understand the gravity of the case.
The court noted that Shantanu Muluk has “given reasons as to why he is apprehending his arrest and that is sufficient. The FIR is lodged at New Delhi and any regular application for anticipatory bail under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure would be considered by Delhi High Court, and therefore, this Court cannot go into any of the merits of the case. The only fact that is required to be considered as to whether the applicant can be granted liberty by way of transit bail to approach to the competent authority for seeking appropriate relief.”
Advocate Satej Jadhav told the court that Delhi Police was already in Beed and Shantanu Muluk could be arrested any minute. The court also noted in its order that Muluk was apprehending his arrest at Beed.
“It is submitted that officers from Delhi Police are already in Beed. They will have to take the help of local police for any operation to be conducted in the investigation at Beed. Under such circumstances, the application cannot be rejected only on the ground that Delhi Police is not a party to this application. The purpose of the bail application would itself get frustrated.”
Justice Vibha Kankanwadi said, “just to enable the applicant [Muluk] to approach the competent court for seeking appropriate relief, the applicant can be granted relief as prayed.”
The court said in its order said in the event of arrest of Shantanu Muluk in connection with the toolkit case be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs 50,000.