The State government has moved the court to cancel the bail of Kerala Janapaksham leader P.C. George, ex-MLA, in the politically explosive hate-speech case.
In a petition, the State told the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court-II, Thiruvananthapuram, that Mr. George had repeated the communal hate stoking insinuations for which the Fort police had arrested him last week.
Mr. George’s alleged incendiary imputations against a particular community had prompted the arrest. They had booked Mr. George on the charge of instilling communal discord to provoke rioting.
The State also sought to counter the accusation that the non-appearance of the public prosecutor at Mr. George’s bail plea hearing had advantaged the politician.
In a debatably damning statement, the State told the magistrate had released Mr. George on bail without hearing the Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP).
The APP, in his submission, said the prosecutor’s office was in the dark about the bail application filed by Mr. George. He pointed out that the High Court had stated that the magistrates should accord the prosecuting officer a reasonable opportunity to make his submission in the court during bail plea hearings.
The APP submitted that the magistrate’s decision to release Mr. George on bail “was not in tune” with the High Court order.
He requested that the court cancel Mr. George’s bail and remand him in judicial custody. The APP said Mr. George had reiterated his “incendiary remarks” before a phalanx of television cameras soon after the magistrate granted him bail.
Mr. George allegedly justified his comment and repeated the same crime. He also attended a slew of public meetings where he aired his “communally divisive and inflammatory” statements and was feted for his “hard-nosed” position.
The APP argued that Mr. George’s conduct was tantamount to a violation of the bail conditions set by the court. He noted the magistrate had clearly stated in the bail order that the accused should not “make and propagate controversy which might hurt the religious sentiments of others”.
Mr. George had drawn flak from the opposite sides of the political spectrum for his controversial remarks.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress had accused him of raising a false alarm on divisive dog-whistle issues such as “love jihad” and Islamic fundamentalism. They accused him of pandering to divisive forces seeking political dividend by polarising people on religious lines.