Defence Analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra granted bail by Orissa HC

Bhubaneswar: A day after the state government decided to drop all charges against Delhi-based journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra over his derogatory remarks on Konark Temple and Odisha, the Orissa High Court today granted bail to the journalist in connection with the cases registered against him.

The Orissa High Court has granted bail to Iyer-Mitra in connection with cases registered against him at Saheed Nagar and Konark Police Stations but ruled that the lower trial courts can decide on the conditions while granting him bail.

Iyer-Mitra’s advocate Nikhil Mehra said, “Two non-bailable offences registered under 295 (A) and 153 (A) sections in the chargesheet were dropped, because it requires sanction and it appears that sanction may not have been given by the government. But for certain other sections, chargesheet have been filed which are bailable so certain steps have to be taken to secure his release.”

Asked about the dropping of all charges against Iyer-Mitra, his advocate said, “Government does not have the power to pardon but it can choose or may not choose not to grant sanction. In this case, the state government decided not to accord sanction of prosecution.”

Citing that Iyer had earlier appealed to ‘accept his apology and contrition’ in having wounded the sentiments of people of Odisha without intention, the government on Tuesday decided to drop the charges against the defence analyst.

Iyer-Mitra was arrested on October 23 and has been lodged at the Jharpara Jail in Bhubaneswar since then.