Fake video tweet: Mevani's bail plea to be heard Monday

Fake video tweet: Mevani's bail plea to be heard Monday

Independent MLA and Scheduled Caste leader Jignesh Mevani. (DH File Photo)

Anticipating arrest in a criminal defamation case for tweeting a fake video linking to a school in south Gujarat, independent MLA and Scheduled Caste leader Jignesh Mevani on Friday moved Gujarat High Court seeking anticipatory bail.

However, due to technical issues, the court couldn't hear the plea and listed the matter for hearing on Monday. The court has orally instructed the police not to take action against the legislator.

On Thursday, a court in Valsad rejected the anticipatory bail plea on the ground that Mevani's presence is required for custodial interrogation. The court of additional sessions Judge P K Lotia held that "prima facie a case is made out that the act of applicant (Mevani) has affected the image of the school in the society." It says that "the applicant sent the clip to the office of the Prime Minister of India, but before doing that he didn't check the authenticity of the clip."

The court said that the records of the offence say that "looking at the seriousness of the offence, it appears that the complainant's school has been publicly defamed..."

The six-page order goes on to say that "Looking at the facts of the case, the presence of the applicant is required for his custodial interrogation... therefore relief sought by the applicant can't be granted." 

Last month, Mevani tweeted a video showing school children being beaten up by a man, named the school and termed it "barbarism of worst form..."

Mevani deleted the tweet and tendered an apology when he found out that the video was fake, originated from another country. He was booked by the principal of the school in question for criminal defamation. 

The state government through public prosecutor Anil Tripathi opposed Mevani's move in the court stating that "an only apology wouldn't do as the applicant accused has a "past" who provokes people against the government.