[Statement against PM Modi] Supreme Court extends interim protection granted to Congress Leader Pawan Khera till March 3

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Khera was arrested on February 23 by the Assam Police over his alleged statement made against the Prime Minister at a Press Conference in Mumbai on February 17.

The Supreme Court today extended the interim protection granted to Congress Leader Pawan Khera in FIRs filed against him over his alleged statements at a Press Conference against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

CJI Chandrachud led bench was informed today by SG Tushar Mehta and ASG Garima Parsad that the states of Assam and UP require time to file their replies in the plea.

Agreeing to their request, the bench listed the case for March 3, Friday.

Court also acceded to the request made by Senior Advocate SM Singhvi, appearing for Khera, that the interim bail granted to him be extended.

On February 23, the Supreme Court had directed a Delhi Court to grant interim bail to Khera. A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud had taken up the matter after Khera was arrested from the Delhi Airport in the morning.

The matter was first mentioned by Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi seeking consolidation of FIRs filed against the Congress leader over his alleged statements against the Prime Minister. Khera was deboarded from the plane and arrested. Singhvi had said that he made some statements that he should not have made. "We are seeking consolidation of FIRs," Singhvi had then added.

Singhvi had argued that "It was an unfortunate statement by Pawan Khera. If one has crossed the boundaries, this cannot be the reaction. The very day he said that it was a mistake. He did a play of words."

Additionally, seeking interim protection, Singhvi had said: "He said it was a mistake, a slip of tongue. Your Lordships can protect him from coercive actions."

Whereas, ASG Aishwarya Bhati had said, "I'm here to inform you that he was arrested, he is being taken for medical and he'll be presented before Court." 

The video wherein Pawan Khera made a statement against the Prime Minister was played in the open court, after which ASG Bhati had said, "Your Lordships will have to go through the Video. If it was a mistake. It was deliberate"

In opposition to the above, Singhvi had said, "This is not how we play in the Court. This is deliberate harassment. He apologized". ASG Bhati then contended, "He (Narendra Modi) is the elected Prime Minister of the largest democracy of the World."

ASG Bhati had also showed the facial expression of Pawan Khera while he made the statement. "He is smiling," ASG Bhati had pointed out.

Case Title: Pawan Khera vs. State of Assam