The Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has granted bail to a lawyer, who spent more than four months in jail for allegedly sending a birthday message to a woman judge in Ratlam on her birthday earlier this year.
While granting bail to lawyer Vijay Singh Yadav, the court said that if he is found to approach the woman judge directly or indirectly or tries to stalk her, then the bail order shall stand cancelled.
The bail was granted by a single bench of Justice Subodh Abhyankar during a virtual hearing of Vijay Yadav’s second bail application on June 14.
On February 9, Yadav had been booked by Ratlam police under:
- Section 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property),
- Section 467 (Forgery of valuable security ),
- Section 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating),
- Section 469 (Forgery for purpose of harming reputation)
…of the Indian Penal Code and Section 41 read with 67 (Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The complaint alleged that he had sent an indecent birthday wish to the woman judge on January 29 on her official email address.
As per the complaint, the lawyer had allegedly downloaded the display picture of the judge from her Facebook account and used it for making a greeting card. He was arrested on February 9. Later on April 27, the high court had dismissed his first bail application.
During the June 14 order, the high court said,
The application filed by the applicant (lawyer) is allowed, subject to the condition that if it is found that the applicant in any manner directly or indirectly tried to approach the concerned judge (the victim) and tries to stalk her in any manner, this order shall stand cancelled without further reference to the court and the police shall be entitled to arrest the applicant in the present case.
Vijay Yadav’s counsel K K Gupta submitted that the charge sheet in the case has already been filed and his client has been in the jail since February 9. Continuing further, Gupta said that his client is an advocate and there are no criminal antecedents against him. Besides, he has tendered an unconditional apology and has undertaken that he would never try to approach the concerned judge and would not practice in her court in future. Hence, it is submitted that his bail application should be allowed.
However, state’s counsel Kushagra Jain opposed Vijay Yadav’s bail plea in view of his “conduct”, reported NDTV.
After hearing both sides, the court allowed Vijay Yadav’s bail application on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 “with one solvent surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial court”. The court further remarked:
Having considered the rival submissions, on perusal of the case diary including the message sent by the applicant, this court is of the considered opinion that since the charge sheet has already been filed and the applicant in jail since February 9, 2021, he has also tendered unconditional apology and the final conclusion of the trial is likely to take sufficient long time due to fresh spread of COVID-19, in the considered opinion of this court, the applicant”s application deserves to be allowed.
Earlier, the high court had ordered a medical examination of Vijay Yadav to check his mental health. It had said that the accused lawyer indulged in an “unethical activity” despite being a married person with four children and that his action caused embarrassment to the woman judge.