Siddharth Varadarajan, editor of The Wire, secures anticipatory bail from Allahabad High Court

Two FIRs were registered against him on April 1 by UP Police for making “false claims” on Twitter that CM Adityanath attended a religious event on March 25 in Ayodhya when lockdown was in force

(Left) UP CM Yogi Adityanath; (Right) Siddharth Varadarajan
(Left) UP CM Yogi Adityanath; (Right) Siddharth Varadarajan

NH Web Desk

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has allowed the anticipatory bail application filed by Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of The Wire, legal news website has reported.

The Bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh refused to accept the argument that the applicant may flee and has allowed his pre-arrest bail plea on his executing a personal bond to the tune of Rs.2,00,000 with two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the learned trial court concerned.

Varadarajan was booked under Sections 188, 505(2) of the IPC and Section 66D of the IT Act for allegedly making "objectionable" remarks against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Two FIRs were registered against him on April 1, at City Kotwali and Ayodhya Kotwali Police Station, for making "false claims" on Twitter that Adityanath had attended a religious event on March 25 in Ayodhya on the occasion of Ram Navmi, when a national lockdown was in force.

Consequently, Varadarajan had moved the High Court seeking anticipatory bail which first came to be listed on May 8 before Justice Jaspreet Singh. The matter was posted for May 11 before the appropriate bench for recording the government's response, after the AGA informed the court that charge sheet had been filed. On May 11, Justice Chandra Dhari Singh allowed the State's request for adjournment on account of non-availability of Additional Advocate General, who was to argue the matter.

Hence, the case was listed on Friday.

On April 10, Varadarajan's wife Nandini Sundar posted a series of tweets, claiming that "plainclothes" men visited their house on behalf of ‘Ayodhya prashasan’ to serve a notice of appearance on Varadarajan under Section 41A of CrPC. She alleged that Varadarajan was asked to appear in Ayodhya for recording of his statement on April 14, when the lockdown was still in force.

Later, SHO at Ayodhya Police Station clarified that they had asked Varadarajan to send his statement through email.

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