MUMBAI: A sessions court has granted interim relief from arrest to five persons including directors of Hari Krishna Exports, the diamond export firm which denied employment to a young MBA graduate for being a Muslim.
Directors Bhaskar Shantilal Joshi, Mahindra Deshmukh, Ghanshyam Dholakiya and Hasmukh Dholakiya, and Deepika Tikke, a trainee in the firm’s HR department who wrote the letter to Zeeshan Ali approached the sessions court seeking anticipatory bail.
Khan had applied for an opening in the company on May 19 and, according to him, he received a response within 15 minutes which said they hired only non-Muslim candidates.
The issue drew widespread condemnation following which Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered a probe and the city police registered a case against the firm.
The firm had issued a clarification claiming it was “an error” by the HR trainee against whom appropriate action has been taken.
The firm’s directors in their plea said that although they have not been named as accused in the case, police has already recorded their statements and they have cooperated with the investigating agency and hence, the need for custodial interrogation should not arise.
While seeking anticipatory bail, they claimed that the FIR filed against them was baseless and incorrect. The application further states that Tikke had sent the mail without consulting her seniors and she is a trainee and does not know the company’s policies. It also states that the company has 70 Muslim employees.
The plea came up before the sessions court on Tuesday which adjourned it for hearing on June 1. The court directed police not to take any coercive action against the applicants until then.
Meanwhile, Khan also filed an intervening application opposing their anticipatory bail pleas.
Advocate Khalid Azmi, appearing for Khan, said that refusal to employment only on the ground of religion is a violation of fundamental right of a citizen.
Khan’s application will also be heard on June 1.
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