Dimapur, September 9: Gauhati High Court, Kohima Bench on Wednesday granted bail to Hema Choudhury, who was arrested on July 17 last for passing derogatory remarks against the Nagas in a social media post.
According to the Court Order issued today, Justice Hukato Swu, Judge of Gauhati High Court, Kohima Bench granted the bail on condition that the accused shall be released on furnishing a local surety and the accused and the bailer would sign a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh each.
The Order said the accused should not leave the jurisdiction of the Court without prior permission and shall report to the IO, once in a week till the filing of the chargesheet.
The Order further stated that Hema Choudhury be released on fulfillment of the mentioned conditions before the learned Special Judge, ST & SC (POA), Kohima.
Earlier, during the hearing, Counsel Moa Jamir appearing for the petitioner/accused submitted that she has been languishing in jail for the last 55 days and has been developing medical problems as is seen in the reports.
Arguing that bail is the rule and jail is the exception, Jamir submitted that even in serious criminal offences and also serious offences affecting the country’s economy, the Apex Court has granted bail to the accused on the principles laid down. Jamir pleaded that the accused is a female where the provision of the CrPC has clearly provided that the category of individuals who are female, children and aged, sick and inform persons should be released on bail, if not involved in heinous crimes of murder and sentence carrying life sentence. He said none of the charges that has been leveled against the accused carries life sentence and added that she is a female having medical complications.
He prayed that the bail may be considered under any conditions as deemed fit by the Court.
Appearing for the State, K K Wotsa, Public Prosecutor produced the prescribed report of the investigation wherein it has been made sufficiently clear that the accused has committed the offence charged against her and she has caused anxiety and also incited her followers to take action against the Nagas by circulating objectionable videos.
Wotsa mentioned that the accused has used the word ‘Chinki’ to describe the people of Nagaland, which is ultimately scathing insult and secondly, Hema Choudhury has also threatened to kill Nagas on the streets. Thirdly, the accused has also appealed to masses outside the state, restaurant owners to look into the bio data especially with respect to what they eat before they give appointment which may cause harm and prejudice the Nagas in the matters of employment, Wotsa stated.
The Public Prosecutor argued that the accused/petitioner has admitted and has also volunteered to make public apologies for her misdeeds. This being the facts of the matter, sentiment hurting and proven case, bail should not be considered, the Public Prosecutor stated and objected to the consideration of bail at this stage.
The Court observed that the accused/petitioner has already spent 55 days in the custody and furthermore, she is shown to be a diabetic patient. The Judge found that all the charges against the accused are below 5 years and also that 55 days of incarceration have made her realize her mistakes and she has offered to tender apology to the Naga community, which is infact gratifying. (Page News Service)