Bombay High Court Questions FIR Over Journalist Alleged of Communist Comment on WhatsApp

An FIR lodged against the editor of Marathi newspaper, Rajkumar Chhajed has been questioned by the Bombay High Court. The Maharashtra Police has accused Chhajed of creating a rift between the two communities based on a WhatsApp message.

After going through the WhatsApp message a division bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale told the Maharashtra government that it will be very difficult if they are over sensitive about everything and asked them if the message really created any hatred between the two committees.

Chhajed stays in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. He also runs a gaushala at Chilpun in the Ratnagiri district. According to him on June 25 a group of people ransacked his place and beat up the cows over a monetary dispute.

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The prosecution has alleged that the next day, Chhajed sent some WhatsApp messages with an ill intention of creating a rift between the two communities. He was arrested and was granted bail by a local court. He has now appealed to the High Court quashing FIR and Compensation.

Chhajed said he had asked the police to register an FIR against the attackers but they dint. He said that his message on WhatsApp to some gaushalas patrons was an expression of anger against the police.

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The Bench asked the Government as to whether they have seen the video and which offence it has committed.

The Government’s pleader FR Sheikh said Chhajed already had 14 cases against him and in this case Section 295A of IPC would be applied. Section 295 A deals with malicious and deliberate acts, intended to outrage religious feelings.

Justice Shinde went over the messages again and said that he has not mentioned any religion, caste, or section of people nor has he committed any offence and his messages were just an outrage towards the Government for not giving grants to his gaushala.

Sheikh said that the message does contain certain allegations against a particular community. To this, the bench replied that if facts are stated then these are not any kind of allegations against a community but just his anguish towards the government that despite his complaints the Government did not take any action.

Sheikh asked for time to get more information from the investigating officer. The Court scheduled the next hearing to February 8th.


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