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Friday, June 2, 2023

Ketaki Chitale questions judiciary’s alacrity to give bail to Zubair, but not her

Marathi actress Ketaki Chitale was forced to spend 40 days in jail for a non issue, whereas Islamist instigator Mohammad Zubair was granted speedy relief by the Supreme Court (SC) despite being responsible for violence across the country and facing several serious charges. The contrast between the cases reveals the double standards of the Indian judiciary.

A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said: “There is no reason for deprivation of liberty of the petitioner…to be released on interim bail in each FIR (UP FIRs)…power of arrest should be used sparingly…”

The bench said SIT constituted by the Uttar Pradesh government to investigate the UP FIRs is rendered redundant and is disbanded. SC clubbed all FIRs against Zubair and transferred all cases from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi Police. It added that Zubair could move the Delhi High Court to quash the FIRs.

Interestingly, the SC also said that Zubair has to be given bail in any future FIRS registered on ‘same subject matter’. It also stipulated that he has to be released by 6 PM on the same day! SC had previously directed UP police not to take any ‘precipitative steps’ against Zubair without their permission.

However, Ketaki got no such relief from the judiciary despite the fact that she didn’t instigate violence like Zubair. Ketaki had merely posted a poem authored by Nitin Bhave. The poem asked a politician to stop taking bribes and his anti-Brahmin politics. Though no names were taken, members of the Nationalist Congress Party took umbrage because they were convinced it referred to their president, Sharad Pawar. These members filed multiple FIRs against Chitale in various parts of Maharashtra.

Ketaki Chitale narrated her ordeal and how NCP workers harassed her in the presence of the police. “I was arrested unlawfully. No prior intimation or notice was served. The police arrived at my doorsteps and they just picked me up. Then I was shifted to the Thane Police custody where the NCP female workers, a mob of around 20 females threw toxic color at me in the name of ink, threw eggs, harassed me and molested me in the Police custody”, she said.

After Zubair’s hearing was fast-tracked by SC (they held 3 hearings for him in the 24 days he was incarcerated) and he was given bail, Ketaki was invited to a TV debate by controversial NDTV anchor Nidhi Razdan who was trying to praise the SC and draw a false equivalence that both Ketaki and Zubair were equal victims who were denied their freedom of expression. An exasperated Ketaki questioned the selective justice when it comes to Zubair, versus what she experienced.

In the past, Ketaki has questioned the very basis of the 22 FIRs against her for just one FB post, saying “Pawar is not a religion.” It is pertinent to remember that the FIR against Zubair was initially lodged for a Hinduphobic tweet, but as investigation progressed it was found that he had been exhorting mobs to protest and was receiving huge ‘donations’ from suspicious sources, potentially violating FCRA. He had also destroyed evidence.

Sections of the judiciary have repeatedly displayed their bias, under influence of the Hinduphobic Lutyens’ lawyer-activist lobby. Free speech applies equally to everyone but our legal system appears to apply different yardsticks to citizens. The SC opens its doors at midnight to terrorists but holds the spokesperson of a party responsible for Islamist violence. The Islamist provocation which led to Nupur Sharma’s statement and the context behind it was conveniently overlooked.

Such actions only embolden Hindu-haters in the country. Ketaki Chitale is correct in questioning the bias in the way our courts handled her case versus that of Zubair’s.

(Featured Image Source: First India)

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  1. May GOD gives the courage to soon declare that India is Hindu country. The secular drama must end abruptly like 1947 and invasion by moguls on India. The common civil law must be active soon. The so called minority have grown in population and soon will become majority. If not BJP, the Hindus will be finished in their own land very soon.


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