HC grants anticipatory bail to journalists in sedition case

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Ahmedabad, Jun 5 (UNI) Gujarat High Court today granted anticipatory bail to the Resident Editor and a correspondent of local edition of 'Times of India' in a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy filed against them by the newly appointed City Police Comissioner O P Mathur.

Justice Z K Saiyed granted anticipatory bail to Resident Editor Bharat Desai and correspondent Prashant Dayal in all the three FIRs, filed by Mr Mathur at the Navrangpura Police Station on June 1 and 2.

The ToI, which had filed a petition yesterday challenging the FIRs and demanding their quashing, withdrew its petition, saying that the State goverment is likely to consider their plea.

However, the newspaper has kept its right reserved to file a fresh a petition, demanding quashing of the FIRs.

Mr Mathur had filed the FIRs against Mr Desai and Mr Dayal for publishing a series of articles between May 27-30, in local editions, stating that he (Mr Mathur) had links with underworld and the safety of citizens under him is questionable.

The newspaper articles had alleged that Mr Mathur had links with former underworld don Abdul Latif and was on his (Latif's) pay-roll.

The local media, showing solidarity with fellow scribes and for protection of 'Freedom of Expression' right, has been demonstrating against Mr Mathur.

UNI MP OBB AM KP1745

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