The Madhya Pradesh High Court has granted bail to an 18-year-old Muslim man who was in custody for 151 days for allegedly spitting on a Hindu procession, reported Live Law. The bail was granted to the man, Adnan Mansuri, on December 15 after the complainant and a witness refused to support the prosecution’s version of events.

The prosecution had alleged that on the evening of July 17, “unknown boys” spat on the Mahakal procession vehicle from the terrace of a building in Ujjain. The incident was reported to the police by a person who claimed to have been present at the spot.

Two days later, municipal officials demolished the home of a man named Ashraf Hussain Mansoori. Two of those accused of spitting on the Hindu procession, Adnan and a 15-year-old, were Mansoori’s sons, according to Article 14.

The authorities had also called in drummers when the home was being razed.

Adnan Mansuri, was booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of a class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 153-A (promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion), 296 (disturbing religious assembly), 505 (statements conducive to public mischief) and 34 (acts by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

The counsel for the accused had told the court that his client had been falsely implicated in the case. Further, the counsel said that the applicant had been in custody since July 17 even as the investigation had been completed and a chargesheet filed.

The complainant and the eye witness had been examined before a trial court and had turned hostile, the counsel told the High Court.

The prosecutor had opposed the bail application saying that the accused had been identified in the security camera footage and that it was “a serious case relating to the communal harmony”.

In its December 15 order, the single judge bench of Justice Anil Verma noted that the complainant “did not support the case of prosecution and even he has also denied his relevant portion of his [first information report]” when he was examined by the trial court. Additionally, the eye witness in the case had “also turned hostile and not supported the case of the prosecution”.

Verma said that the investigating officer had not conducted a test identification parade, which is used to assess a witness’ ability to recognise unknown persons. “…investigation is over and chargesheet has been filed, applicant is not having any criminal background, in view of the above, I deem it proper to release the applicant on bail,” Verma added.