New Delhi: The Rajasthan High Court has ordered Yoga guru Baba Ramdev to appear before the investigating officer in a hate speech case on October 5, extending the interim stay on his arrest, initially granted on April 13, until October 16.
Justice Kuldeep Mathur’s bench also instructed Ramdev to cooperate with the investigating officer during interrogation. The court requested the government advocate to make the case diary available for review on the next hearing date, October 16. Senior advocate Dhirendra Singh Daspa represented Baba Ramdev.
Previously, Ramdev had filed a petition seeking the quashing of a First Information Report (FIR) for alleged anti-Muslim remarks he made on February 2 during a religious event in Barmer, Rajasthan. A video of his speech, in which he purportedly accused Muslims of “terrorist acts” and “abducting Hindu women,” circulated on social media.
On February 5, Barmer police filed an FIR against Ramdev based on a complaint by Pathai Khan, a resident of Dhanau in Chohtan. Khan alleged that Ramdev had intentionally made these statements to incite religious sentiments among Muslims and create animosity towards the Muslim community among other religions or communities.
The Chohtan Police in Barmer registered a case under sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on religious grounds), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings or beliefs), and 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Muslims in Barmer protested against Ramdev’s remarks, accusing him of disturbing communal harmony in the border district. They submitted a memorandum to the district collector, calling for action against him.
However, the complainant, Pathai Khan, later claimed that he was unaware of the complaint and had been deceived by his lawyer. Khan asserted that his lawyer had contacted him regarding a land dispute case and obtained his signature on the complaint against Ramdev. He, being illiterate, expressed no desire for further action in the case. Khan stated that he had also submitted a memorandum to the district collector and the superintendent of police (SP) in this regard.
Nonetheless, Barmer SP Deepak Bhargav clarified that once an FIR is filed, it cannot be withdrawn, and the police would proceed accordingly with the complaint.