The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday observed that the judiciary could not be "ridiculed and vandalised" while granting bail to Akali Dal President Sukhbir Badal and his brother-in-law Bikram Singh Majithia.
The court was hearing a petition over a criminal complaint against former Deputy Chief Minister Badal and MLA and former Cabinet minister Majithia.
The petition was filed by former high court judge, Justice Ranjit Singh, who accused both the leaders of sullying the reputation of a commission that was constituted during the previous Akali Dal-BJP regime to probe into sacrilege incidents in the state in 2015.
Both Badal and Majithia, who appeared in the case for the first time, were granted bail for a personal surety of Rs 1 lakh each. They were at the helm when the sacrilege incidents occurred.
"Justice should not be ridiculed and vandalised like this. The Constitution of India has given freedom of speech and expression, but it has to be circumscribed," Justice Amit Rawal observed.
The court listed the matter for the next hearing on August 21. However, both the Akali leaders will have to remain present in the court in the next hearing.
Justice Ranjit Singh had filed the criminal complaint against the two for deliberately and willfully making "false, derogatory and defamatory" statements on public platforms against him.
He had asserted that the intention was to bring into disrepute him and the Commission of Inquiry headed by him.
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