The Mysuru district court on Monday (January 27) granted bail to Nalini Balakumar, a student who was booked on charges of sedition for holding a ‘Free Kashmir’ placard during a protest against the attack on students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
The bail was granted to the accused on the condition that the accused submit her passport to the court and report to the police every 15 days. Besides, the court also asked her to produce a personal bond for ₹50,000.
“The freedom of speech is the right to form an opinion after getting the correct and full information about an issue and express the same,” additional district sessions judge J R Mendonca said.
The Court also advised the youth of the country to be cautious while exercising this freedom to express an opinion and observe self-restraint.
The court also granted bail to another Maridevaiah, a PhD student and president of Dalit research scholar association, who was booked in the same case for allegedly organising the protest without taking prior police permission. The court mentioned that the investigation revealed Maridevaiah had no knowledge of the main accused’s plan to hold a ‘Free Kashmir’ poster.
Balakumar and Maridevaiah was taken into custody by the police on January 12 and booked under Sec 124A of the Indian penal code (IPC). Subsequently, the Mysuru Bar Association denied any legal assistance to the victim and took a stand to not represent the victim who they alleged was involved in anti-national activities. Even the lawyer fighting on her behalf had withdrawn from the case.
But later a few lawers defied the Bar Association’s boycott call and sought to represent the victim.
Soon after the controversy erupted, she released a video apologising for creating confusion and went to emphasise that she had only sought to highlight the issue of internet shutdown and wanted the Centre to normalise the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.