Words which cause disaffection towards another community or political party cannot be termed 'unlawful activity' under Section 2(o) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), a Jammu & Kashmir court ruled on Thursday granting bail to National Conference Leader Hilal Akbar Lone.
The acts and words those have the tendency to bring cessation of a part of the country or disruption of its sovereignty and territorial integrity or to cause disaffection against the country, will come within the ambit of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). This statement was made clear by Special UAPA court at Baramullah.
Actions or words which cause or tend to cause hatred towards another community or political party will at the most attract only the offence of promoting enmity between different classes (under IPC), Additional Sessions Judge, Baramulla Sanjay Parihar ruled.
"There is no allegation that he (Lone) called for cessation of a territory of the State from the Union of India or that his words were intending to cause disaffection towards the country. At the most he had certain diversion of opinion against policies of the present establishment which being part of politics, he is entitled to frame. That cannot be termed as amounting to causing disaffection against the country at large," the Court said.
It was directed to order Lone to be released on furnishing surety bonds to the tune of Rs. 2 lakh with one surety in the like amount.
It was also alleged that the speech was intended to cause and disharmony and disrupt peace and tranquility besides promoting enmity on grounds of religion.
The Court noted that the allegation against the petitioner was not that he was exhorting people to overthrow the government using force and violence.
There is no case against the petitioner that he was inciting people to commit any violence, the Court further observed.
“What is alleged therein is regarding the policies of the government of the day which according to the petitioner 'is branding Muslims as terrorist, whereas its own people are terrorizing others and preventing them from discharging their religious beliefs'," the Court said.