The Kerala High Court granted temporary release to veteran lawmaker PC George on Monday, May 23, with the proviso that he did not make any communal speeches in public or to the media till Thursday, May 26. The Ernakulam District and Sessions Court previously rejected George’s anticipatory bail in connection with a second hate speech case filed against him in less than a month.
When senior counsel P Vijaybhanu, who represented the politician, pointed out that George was a septuagenarian who was afraid of being arrested, the court replied that although he ‘may offer temporary protection, how can I assure you don’t open your mouth?’ Justice P Gopinath, who heard the plea, said George was granted temporary release till Thursday on the condition that he did not make any communal comments to the public or the media.
‘It is emphasized that the award of temporary bail in this instance would have no bearing on the state’s prerogative to seek cancellation of the bail granted to him by the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court (JFCM), Trivandrum,’ the court stated. On May 1, George was detained and granted conditional release by a court in Thiruvananthapuram.
He was jailed for speaking at the Ananthapuri Hindu Maha Sammelan, where he claimed that tea laced with ‘drops inducing impotence’ was served at Muslim-run restaurants to make people ‘infertile’ in order to ‘seize control’ of the country, a claim that has already been refuted as incorrect. However, shortly after being granted bail, George defended his controversial words, claiming that his detention was Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s ‘Ramadan present for terrorist Muslims’.
George, who is out on bail in this case, delivered a similar address in Kochi on May 8. When Kochi City Police Commissioner CH Nagaraju stated that George will be detained since he had committed the same offense again in breach of release terms, George applied to the Ernakulam District and Sessions Court for anticipatory bail, which was denied. Following that, he petitioned the Supreme Court.