The Bombay High Court on Tuesday rejected the transit anticipatory bail plea of filmmaker Avinash Das who was booked last week by the Gujarat Police for sharing on social media, a photo of Union Home Minister Amit Shah with the suspended Indian Administrative Service officer Pooja Singhal, PTI reported.
An accused person apprehending an arrest in another state, can apply for a transit anticipatory bail to prevent such action.
Singhal, the former mining department secretary in Jharkhand, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on May 12 in an alleged money laundering case.
On May 8, Das had shared a photo on Twitter of Shah and Singhal speaking to each other at an event in Ranchi in 2017. The police had alleged that the filmmaker shared the photo to defame the home minister and mislead citizens.
Das was also booked for allegedly insulting the national flag by posting a morphed photo of a woman wearing the tricolour on Facebook. He reportedly posted the photo on March 17.
On Tuesday, a vacation bench of Justice Bharati Dangre rejected the bail plea filed by Das. The court held that the filmmaker should approach the “appropriate forum for relief”, PTI reported.
The first information report against Das was registered in Ahmedabad. Justice Dangre held that Das should approach an Ahmedabad court for the relief as the city is not too far from Mumbai, where the filmmaker lives.
A first information report has been filed against the 46-year-old filmmaker under Indian Penal Code Section 469 (forgery) and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act (transmitting obscene material).
Das has also been booked under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act and the Information Technology Act for allegedly posting the morphed photo on Facebook.