The Madras High Court had granted bail to P. Thamizharasan and V. Bharathi on two conditions. One, erect a flag post in front of their home and hoist the national flag everyday. Two, conduct community service at an orphanage every day for a week. Senior Counsel Ram Jethmalani appeared on behalf of the accused. Justices B. Sudershan Reddy and Deepak Verma set aside the bail condition imposed by the Madras High Court, but held that they shall hoist the national flag everyday for a week.
"Erect a flagpole in front of your house and hoist the national flag daily for one week," said the Madras High Court to P. Thamizharasan and V. Bharathi while granting bail. The Bail conditions required them to, "with respect, hoist the flag" every day at 6am and "with respect, settle it down" at 6pm. Under trial for allegedly trying to burn the National Flag to protest India's "failure" to stop the Sri Lankan conflict, the duo have already spent more than 6 years behind bars.
After the trial court rejected their bail application, they approached the High Court, which granted them bail on two conditions. One, to hoist the national flag, and the other, was that they do community service at an orphanage. The accused petitioned to change their conditions which were rejected by the Madras High Court. Senior Counsel, Ram Jethmalani appeared on behalf of the undertrials before the Supreme Court and argued that the unusual bail conditions gave rise to the presumption that his clients were guilty. He also argued that their fundamental rights were being violated, which have priority over fundamental duties such as showing respect to the national flag.
The High Court had, in its order clarified that the condition that was imposed shall not be treated as a precedent for any purpose. Whether there are any standard bail conditions or not, is what needs to be examined.
Speaking to criminal lawyer, Venkatesh Murthy at the Supreme Court, he said, "there are no prescribed conditions for the grant of bail. Normally, the Courts impose conditions of reporting to the nearest police station or should not leave the city or country without the permission of the court etc. But since the offense is also unusual, this bail condition has been unusual too. The Supreme Court may have imposed this condition to bring respect towards the national flag" he reasoned.
The Bench comprising Justices B. Sudershan Reddy and Deepak Verma set aside the bail condition imposed by the Madras High Court mandating that they perform community service in an orphanage for three hours a day for one week. However, the Court retained the condition that they hoist the national flag in front of their houses every day for a week.