Fathima (39), who unsuccessfully tried to visit the Lord Ayyappa temple in October, had submitted that the Constitution guaranteed freedom of speech and she should be granted bail "in the interest of justice".
The Kerala High Court Friday granted conditional bail to social activist Rehana Fathima, who was arrested for allegedly posting controversial remarks on Lord Ayyappa devotees and Sabarimala on social media. Granting the bail, Justice Sunil Thomas directed her to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 along with two sureties for the like amount. She was also directed to not enter the Pamba police station limits for three months and not hurt religious sentiments of other communities.
Fathima (39), who unsuccessfully tried to visit the Lord Ayyappa temple in October, had submitted that the Constitution guaranteed freedom of speech and she should be granted bail “in the interest of justice”. Fathima is an accused in a case registered by the Pathnamthitta police for offences punishable under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs). She had allegedly posted some pictures on her Facebook account and written her opinion which hurt the religious sentiments of Lord Ayyappa devotees.
Fathima, a BSNL employee, was arrested from her office here on November 27 and remanded to judicial custody. Her bail plea was rejected by the judicial magistrate at Pathnamthitta earlier. Fathima had courted controversy when she attempted to trek to Sabarimala, along with Hyderabad-based journalist Kavitha, during the ‘thulamasa’ puja in October. The Supreme Court had on September 28 pronounced a verdict permitting women of all ages to offer prayers at the Lord Ayyappa shrine.