The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea for bail of a man who was last month arrested from Gujarat for posting allegedly objectionable comments in tweets against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his minister-son, Aaditya Thackeray.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian asked the counsel for Sameer Thakkar to approach the Bombay High Court with the plea, saying it can also uphold his fundamental rights.
“The High Court can also uphold your fundamental rights. It can also transfer the case and grant you bail. Then why are you coming under 32 (under Article 32 of the Constitution, writ pleas are filed in the Supreme Court).
“You please go to the High Court,” the bench told senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani who was appearing for Mr Thakkar.
Mr Jethmalani said that Mr Thakkar was arrested for “bailable offences” and this will “shock your Lordships”.
“We are quite immune from shock. We see it everyday. Nothing shocks us,” the bench observed and asked him to approach the High Court.
Meanwhile, the counsel for Maharashtra said the state will not oppose the bail plea of the accused in the magisterial court on Monday as the custodial interrogation of Mr Thakkar was over in the case.
He was later granted bail by a court in Mumbai.
Mr Jethmalani said that as many as three FIRs had been lodged against Mr Thakkar for his tweets only and he was arrested on October 24 from Rajkot.
Then he was taken to Nagpur on transit remand and was quizzed in police custody for his tweets and moreover, his custody was extended as well.
“His neck was tied with rope and he was paraded on roads,” the senior lawyer said.
“What makes you think that we are approving all this. We are only telling you repeatedly that you can make these arguments before the High Court. Let us have the view of High Court,” the bench said.
Mr Jethmalani then withdrew the plea of Mr Thakkar, who besides seeking bail, had sought consolidation of three FIRs registered against him for the posts.
Mr Thakkar, who has 59,000 followers on Twitter and is followed by some prominent government functionaries on the social media platform, was arrested from Rajkot on October 24 over his posts.
He has been granted bail in one case by a Nagpur court and was arrested by Maharashtra police in connection with other FIR.