Supreme court grants protection to Muslim man who posted obscene poem on Lord Ram and Sita.

Supreme Court extends interim anticipatory bail to Assam poet Rakib Uddin Ahmed over controversial poem involving Hindu deities.

The Supreme Court on Friday granted protection from arrest to one Rakib Uddin Ahmed accused of posting a poem on his Facebook account wherein he used obscene words aiming at Lord Ram and Sita. The decision comes amidst a heated debate surrounding freedom of expression and religious sentiments.

Allegedly, Ahmed made a Facebook account conceal his real identity, with the name Neelabh Sourav, to post the poem. The poem was posted by the accused on his Facebook account.

A bench of Justices MM Sundresh and SVN Bhatti's attention was drawn to apology rendered by Ahmed.

While issuing notice in the SLP filed by Ahmed, the ordered that petitioner shall not be arrested subject to the condition that he shall co-operate with the investigation. The instant SLP was filed against the Gauhati High Court's order rejecting pre-arrest bail to the accused. 

In the impugned order, Justice Robin Phukan noted that "the applicant having concealed his real identity, took a different name and published the poem, and as such, it cannot be said that the said poem has not influenced any enmity and hatred between different groups on the ground of religion..".

High Court had further noted that Ahmed had been absconding since the date of occurrence to avoid arrest by police.

The interim directive issued by the bench stipulates:

“In the meantime, the petitioner shall not be arrested subject to the condition that he shall co-operate with the investigation.”

Legal provisions:

The case raised significant legal questions regarding the balance between freedom of speech and expression and the protection of religious sentiments, which are enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Article 19(1)(a) guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression to all citizens, subject to reasonable restrictions for maintaining public order, decency, and morality.

However, Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. The provision carries a punishment of imprisonment for up to three years, or with fine, or with both.

In this case, the accused, Rakib Uddin Ahmed, allegedly posted a poem on Facebook containing derogatory remarks aimed at Lord Ram and Sita, which led to his arrest under Section 295A of the IPC. The matter stirred widespread debate on social media platforms, with opinions divided on whether the post constituted an exercise of freedom of expression or an offense against religious sentiments.

The Supreme Court's decision to grant bail to Rakib Uddin Ahmed underscores the importance of upholding the principles of justice and fair trial, ensuring that individuals are not arbitrarily detained without sufficient evidence. Bail, in such cases, serves as a safeguard against the possibility of prolonged detention pending trial.

While the accused has been granted bail, it's essential to recognize that freedom of expression comes with responsibilities. It should not be misused to propagate hate speech or incite violence against any community or religious group. Respect for diverse beliefs and mutual tolerance are fundamental to a harmonious society.


In conclusion, the granting of bail to Rakib Uddin Ahmed by the Supreme Court marks a significant development in the ongoing debate surrounding freedom of expression and religious sentiments. It reinforces the importance of upholding constitutional values while ensuring justice for all parties involved. Moving forward, it is imperative to strike a balance between freedom of speech and expression and the protection of religious beliefs, fostering a society built on mutual respect and understanding.

Choose A Format
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
Youtube and Vimeo Embeds
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge