Allahabad High Court grants anticipatory bail to Siddharth Varadarajan, refuses to accept argument that he 'may flee'

Two FIRs were filed against Varadarajan after The Wire published a report that incorrectly attributed a quote to the UP chief minister.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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The Allahabad High Court granted anticipatory bail to journalist Siddharth Varadarajan, after the latter filed a petition in court.

Two FIRs had been filed against Varadarajan, the founding editor of The Wire, in April for "disseminating fake news" and making “unverifiable claims” about Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. Varadarajan subsequently moved the high court for anticipatory bail.

LiveLaw reports that the bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh "refused to accept the argument that the applicant may flee and has allowed his pre-arrest bail plea on his executing a personal bond to the tune of Rs 2 lakh with two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the learned trial court concerned".

On April 1, Varadarajan was booked after The Wire published a report that incorrectly attributed a quote to Adityanath. By the time the FIRs were filed, the story had long been corrected.

On April 12, Varadarajan's wife Nalini Sundar tweeted that the Ayodhya police showed up "unannounced" at their home in Delhi, and served him a notice that directed him to appear in Ayodhya on April 14, when the lockdown was still in place, "in connection with FIR registered by the police".

After the FIRs were filed, Varadarajan spoke to Newslaundry at length about The Wire's position on the police complaints, and what it means for press freedom. Watch.

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