The Chhattisgarh High Court on Friday granted bail to Hindu religious leader Kalicharan three months after he was arrested for making derogatory remarks against Mahatma Gandhi and praising his assassin Nathuram Godse at an event in state capital Raipur, reported PTI.
Kalicharan was arrested from Madhya Pradesh’s Khajuraho town on December 30 after a video showed him using an expletive about Gandhi and accusing him of destroying the country at the Raipur event.
“I pay my obeisance to Nathuram Godse,” Kalicharan had said at a “dharam sansad” or religious parliament. “He killed him [Gandhi]...See, it is essential to remove a wart by surgery, or else it could lead to cancer.”
In its bail order, the court directed the seer to furnish a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh with two sureties for a sum of Rs 50,000 each.
At the hearing, advocate Kishore Bhaduri, representing Kalicharan, told the High Court that his client was innocent and had been falsely implicated in the case due to political rivalry.
He said that the sedition charges prima facie were not made out against the seer.
“The decisive ingredients for establishing the offence are missing in the first information report,” Bhaduri said, according to the Hindustan Times. “There is no suggestion that the applicant [Kalicharan] did anything as against the government of Chhattisgarh, government of India or any other governments of states.”
Additional Advocate General Suni Otwani opposed the bail plea. Otwani asked the court to deny Kalicharan given the nature of his offence.
In the first information report registered on December 26, the police had also charged Kalicharan under sections 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and 294 (obscene acts).
More than 20 religious leaders had attended the two-day “dharam sansad” event in Raipur. Many of them had reportedly called upon Hindus to take up weapons and prepare themselves for the establishment of a Hindu nation.
The event in Chhattisgarh took place after a similar conclave in Haridwar from December 17-19 at which religious leaders had called for Hindus to buy weapons to kill India’s Muslims.