New Delhi, July 7: Union Minister Jayant Sinha on Saturday defended his actions of felicitating eight convicts in the Ramgarh lynching case saying that his comments were taken out of proportion and all he was doing was “honoring the due process of law”. In a series of tweets, he said that the Hon’ble Ranchi High Court suspended the sentences and released them on bail. Also Read - Sushma Swaraj, Maneka Gandhi, Uma Bharti: Ministers Dropped From New Modi Govt

“In the Ramgarh case, the Hon’ble Ranchi High Court, which is the first court of appeal, has suspended the sentence of the accused and released them on bail while admitting their case. The case will once again be re-heard,” he said, adding, “I have repeatedly expressed my misgivings about the Fast-Track Court judgment sentencing each accused to life imprisonment.” Also Read - Civil Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha Files Nomination Papers For Hazaribagh

“I am pleased that the Hon’ble High Court will hear the matter as a statutory court of appeal to test the correctness of the Fast-Track Court order. Unfortunately, irresponsible statements are being made about my actions when all that I am doing is honoring the due process of law. Those that are innocent will be spared and the guilty will be appropriately punished,” Sinha said. Also Read - Odisha: BJD Government Says Union Minister Jayant Sinha Wasn't 'Properly Informed' by BJP, State Cooperates With Centre

He further said that he “unequivocally condemn all acts of violence and reject any type of vigilantism”. “Any unlawful acts, particularly those that violate the rights of any citizen, should be punished with the full force of the law.”

The Union Minister had landed himself in the middle of a controversy when his pictures felicitating and garlanding eight accused in the Ramgarh lynching case went viral. The union minister welcomed the eight men at his residence after their release on bail.

A total of11 men, including a local BJP leader, were convicted and sentenced to life sentences in connection with the lynching of one 55-year-old Alimuddin Ansari in Ramgarh last year. The high court suspended their life sentences. They were released from the Jai Prakash Narain Central Jail and headed straight to the minister’s residence where they were garlanded and welcomed in.