Srinagar: A court here granted bail to Hurriyat leader Masarat Alam in a sedition case of 2010 for allegedly circulating a video asking forces personnel to leave Jammu and Kashmir.
The court granted Alam bail against surety and personal bond of Rs 50000.
While prosecution had sought rejection of bail on the ground that the offence is heinous, serious and anti-national, the court found no reason for Alam’s continuous imprisonment.
The State prayed for rejection of bail application on the ground that accused is involved in non-bailable offences as such cannot claim bail as a matter of right
“For the reason that continuity in custody shall result in his pre-trial punishment and is likely to deny him an opportunity to seek appropriate legal assistance in preparing an effective defence,” the court said.
Police had stated that the evidence collected by the investigating agency establishes prima facie case against the accused for the offence 13 ULA (P) Act, 506 and 124-A /RPC “and as such this application of the accused merits rejection”.
While rejecting the objections of the state, the court said heinousness of offence alone is not the criteria to refuse the bail in case it appears that the severity of punishment attached will compel the accused to evade the process of trial.
“Then in such circumstances heinousness of offence and element of escaping from the clutches of law shall stand in the way of granting concession to the accused,” the court said.
“There is no likelihood of the accused evading trial when no material to that effect has been placed on record by prosecution,” the court added.
The court granted bail to Alam on the condition that he shall not by any mode or manner cause any inducement, threat or coercion to the prosecution witnesses to depose in his favour and will not commit or repeat the similar offence in future.
Earlier, Alam through his counsel Farooq Ahmad Bhat rejected the charges leveled against him saying that FIR was lodged on behalf of some influential politician.