"Bail is rule, jail is exception''
"Bail is rule, jail is exception''

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday granted Bail to a suspended Judicial Officer who expressed his disaffection in the manner in which the Government was being run and has been booked under Sections 124-A (sedition), 153, 153-A of IPC.

The Bench of Justice R. Raghunandan Rao granted him bail noting that the petitioner is a suspended Judicial Officer, and it is highly unlikely that he would seek to abscond.

According to LiveLaw, The complaint made against the petitioner/now suspended Judicial Official was that in the course of a television debate, he had made intemperate statements against the Government and also against the Chief Minister wherein he allegedly stated that he is looking forward to cutting off the head of the Hon'ble Chief Minister.

On the basis of these statements, a complaint was filed averring that his statements would result in enmity between different sections of society and would also amount to a call for the violent overthrow of the Government, amounting to an offence under Section 124-A I.P.C.

On the basis of these allegations, a case was registered and he was arrested and remanded to judicial custody, he had been in judicial custody since then and the trial Judge had dismissed his application for Bail in May 2021.

The Senior Counsel appearing for the petitioner submitted that the intention of the petitioner was not to call for a violent overthrow of the Government but he was only expressing his disaffection in the manner in which the Government was being run.

The Public Prosecutor opposed the grant of bail on the ground that the petitioner is a judicial officer, who is under the suspension and is fully aware of the consequences of the statements and the effect and impact of such statements.

It was also submitted that Rules 15 to 17 A.P. Civil Services Conduct Rules specifically stipulate that no serving officer of the Government can speak about any aspect relating to the functioning of the Government or make any comments on superior officers except with the permission of the State Government.

While granting him bail, the Court observed that the crime is based on a statement that is said to have been made in a television debate that is recorded and cannot be altered or tampered with and further, a period of 60 days has already elapsed, and as such, the question of any further tampering with or affecting the investigation would not arise.

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