A writ petition was filed in court by Yashwant Singh in order ask the court to issue an order, a writ or direction in the Nature of Certiorari quashing the FIR registered as Case under Section 500 of Indian Penal Code and Section 66(D) of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008.
The FIR was lodged by the police regarding District Rama, Bai Nagar. The complaint claimed that the petitioner allegedly remarked that the Chief Minister has transformed the State into a Jungle Raj in which no law and order prevails, through his Twitter handle. The remark was made with reference to never-ending abduction case, demands for ransom as well as murders.
Court Proceeding and the Judgement:
A division bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal was constituted for the hearing of the case in the High Court of Allahabad. The court, after hearing the arguments, stated that,
“Expressing dissent on the law-and-order situation in the state, is a hallmark of a constitutional liberal democracy like ours, constitutionally protected under Article 19 of the Constitution.”
The petitioner was represented by Advocate Dharmendra Singh, who argued in the court that the Right to dissent is a Fundamental Right which has been implied under Article 19 of the Constitution of India, which provides the citizens of the country to speak and criticize the working of the government and implementation of Law.
The counsel further argued,
“Mere dissent does not amount to criminality, FIR has been lodged with a mala fide intention, only with a view to coerce the petitioner to stop expressing his dissent against the State government, no offense is made out, FIR is quashed.”
The court, after hearing the arguments, the court asserted,
“In so far, Section 500 of IPC is concerned, same is also not made out, as the alleged tweet cannot be said to fall within the mischief of defamation.”
“Right to dissent is a constitutionally protected right under Article 19 of the Constitution and an expression of dissent about the State and its law-and-order situation doesn’t amount to any crime.”
The court order read as,
“In view of the above, the Writ Petition is allowed. The FIR dated 2.8.2020, registered as Case Crime No. 371 of 2020 under section 500 I.P.C and 66-D of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008, P.S. Bhognipur, District Rama Bai Nagar and consequential proceedings are quashed,”
The Court, therefore, quashed the FIR which was registered against the petitioner for criticizing the government.
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