Sedition Case: Delhi Minorities Commission chief moves HC for anticipatory bail
A sedition charge has been pressed against Zafarul Islam Khan for this social media post thanking Kuwait for taking note of the "persecution" of Indian Muslims. Earlier this week, Delhi Police has officials had questioned the DMC chief at his South Delhi residence.
Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) chairman Zafarul Islam Khan has approached the Delhi High Court seeking anticipatory bail in the sedition case lodged against him. The plea, filed on Friday, was mentioned for an urgent hearing.
Khan’s advocate Vrinda Grover said that the matter has been listed for hearing on May 12.
A sedition case was filed against the Minority Commission chief for his social media post published on April 28. In the FIR, he was accused of seditious activity and posting hateful comments through his official social media handles.
Based on a complaint, the Delhi Police Special Cell on May 2 lodged an FIR against Khan under Sections 124A and 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for the alleged offences of sedition and promoting feelings of hatred between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence and language.
Khan's tweet thanked Kuwait for taking note of the "persecution" of Indian Muslims, in the context of the northeast Delhi violence.
The Arab nations have been cracking down on the Islamophobic and hate-filled posts being peddled on social media. Several scholars from the UAE had urged the Narendra Modi government to act against those spreading hate against the minority community in India.
Notably, Khan had later removed the post. "I realise that my tweet was ill-timed and insensitive in view of our county facing a medical emergency and fighting an unseen enemy. I apologise to all whose sentiments were hurt," he said in a statement.
The Bharatiya Janata Party sought an apology and his removal from the minority commission. Earlier this week, Delhi Police officials questioned 72-year-old Khan at his South Delhi residence.
He has sought anticipatory bail on the ground that he is a public servant and a senior citizen who suffers from heart disease and hypertension and is highly susceptible to COVID-19 infection.