Richa Bharti, the 19-yr-old directed by Ranchi court to distribute Qurans after communal post, says she will appeal against order in HC

  • Richa Bharti, who was directed by a Ranchi court to distribute 5 copies of Quran as a condition for bail for posting an allegedly communal post on social media has said that she will be appealing to a higher court against the local court's decision

  • A judicial magistrate, after granting the conditional bail on 15 July, asked Bharti to submit one copy of the holy book to the local Anjuman Committee in the presence of police authorities, and four more copies to different libraries in the city

  • The magistrate has also sought the receipt or the acknowledgement of the donation within a fortnight

A 19-year-old woman, Richa Bharti, who was directed by a Ranchi court to distribute five copies of Quran as a condition for bail for posting a communal post on social media has said that she will be appealing to a higher court against the local court's decision, reports said.

Bharti, a B.com first-year student in Ranchi, said that the court's order was not fair, adding that "other communities" were never asked to take such a step.

Speaking to PTI after her release, she said, "I have not yet received the order copy. I respect the court's verdict. But I have not done anything wrong and will consult members of my family and lawyer if I can move the High Court (against the lower court's verdict).

The unique verdict was given by Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Manish Kumar Singh on 15 July. He had asked Bharti to submit one copy of the holy book to the local Anjuman Committee in the presence of police authorities, and four more copies to different libraries in the city, Bharti's advocate Rampravesh Singh told PTI.

The magistrate had also sought the receipt or the acknowledgement of the donation within a fortnight, he said.

 Richa Bharti, the 19-yr-old directed by Ranchi court to distribute Qurans after communal post, says she will appeal against order in HC

Richa Bharti. Twitter/@ANI

MD Jamil Khan, a member of the Anjuman Committee, said it has welcomed the court's verdict.

"The committee, which looks after the health, education and welfare of the local people, has accepted the verdict whole-heartedly. The woman has been asked to donate copies of the Quran to the committee as well as school and college libraries," he said.

Superintendent of Police (Rural) Asutosh Sekhar, when contacted, said the officers were studying the court order to understand the stipulations.

Bharti, a B.Com student at a local college, was arrested on 12 July after the Anjuman Committee filed a complaint against her at the Pithora Police Station for sharing an objectionable post on Facebook, which reportedly hurt religious sentiments.

"We moved a petition in the court praying for bail. Yesterday, we got conditional bail with the ruling that she should donate one copy of the Quran Sharif to Anjuman Committee at Pithoria and four more to different libraries in the city," the girl's counsel said.

The judge has also directed the investigating officer in the case to be present when Bharti donates the holy book to the committee, he added.

Bharti's parents, Prakash and Nilam Devi, said they were happy to have their daughter back. Her father Prakash Patel also said they did not receive the copy of the order till 5.30 pm.

"After receiving it, we will consult our advocate and go through the legal process. We have full faith in the judiciary," he added.

A case was registered in Pithoria police station when the girl shared a message on Facebook which allegedly had communal content. This led to several Hindu organisations staging protests, demanding her release as her arrest drew sharp criticism from the locals.

It was only after rural SP Ashutosh Sekhar's assured the locals that the accused would be released soon did the agitation come to a halt.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jul 17, 2019 09:40:07 IST