Sedition charges to stay, but cartoonist Aseem Trivedi freed
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After personally forking up the bail amount of Rs 5,000, cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, on whom police had slapped sedition charges for dishonouring national emblems like the three lions symbol and the Parliament, walked out a free man from jail.
The first stop for him was a shrine built in the memory of Dalit icon Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar – near the Arthur Road jail.
He thereafter, addressed the media and reiterated his stated opinion on how corruption has degraded all the institutions of democracy in India and how the common man finds it difficult to change this extremely discriminatory system that perpetuates inequality.
Trivedi waved a raised fist in triumph and defiance at the authorities, saying he will not backtrack from his stated position.
He had been granted bail yesterday night.
Speaking briefly to the media, the cartoonist said the fight for scrapping the "draconian" sedition law would continue despite his release.
Trivedi was arrested on Saturday for allegedly depicting the national emblem and Parliament in bad light in his cartoons, triggering a public outcry.
According to his supporters, the only reason Trivedi was targetted by the government was for his links to Anna Hazare and the India Against Corruption movement that has put graft by politicians and babus at the forefront of the national agenda.
The Bombay High Court had yesterday granted bail to Trivedi, saying if drawing cartoons was the only allegation against him, then his custody was not required.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar had directed Trivedi to be released on execution of a personal bail bond of Rs 5,000.
The bail order was passed by the bench on a public interest litigation by city-based lawyer Sanskar Marathe, who sought Trivedi's release contending his arrest was "illegal, bad in law, and unjustified".
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