The Karnataka High Court heard the bail pleas of two accused persons. The court observed the role of a communal divide in the issue. Allegedly, the accused sold noxious watermelons with the intention to endanger public health. This allegations relied on the video which went viral on social media; whereby the accused picked up watermelons from the drain and sold them to the public. In effect, the police arrested them; booked under Section 270, and Section 328 of the Indian Penal Code. Prior to this, the bail applications were rejected by the sessions court.
Thereafter, the petitioners approached the High Court under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Single Judge Bench comprised of Justice R. Devadas. Notably, it appears to be a distasteful repercussion of the prevalent communal divide. The Court explained that, the social media has created a panic situation; resulting in a social divide in the minds of the general public on the basis of communal identification.
High Court’s Take
The court expressed doubt as to the intention of the petitioners; because Section 328 requires a person to have complete knowledge that he is administering poison or any stupefying, intoxicating or unwholesome drug which would cause hurt to some person. However, prima facie intention is not established in this case. The case did not attract the provisions of Section 328. Moreover, the Court clarified that the observations made were only prima facie. Being that, this will not prejudice the case for the prosecution before the trial.