The Hon’ble SC heard the case regarding allegations of sedition, promotion of communal enmity etc. against Vinod Dua. The Bench consisted of Hon’ble Justice UU Lalit and Hon’ble Justice Vineet Sareen.
Vinod Dua is facing FIRs from multiple states including Maharashtra, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, etc with regards to sedition charges filed against him by Ajay Shyam, a BJP leader. The SC issued the following directions on 14th June –
- Pending further orders, the arrest of the Petitioner cannot take place in connection with the present crime.
- However, the Petitioner shall extend his full cooperation through video conferencing.
- The Himachal Pradesh Police shall carry on the investigation including interrogation of the Petitioner at his residence after giving him prior notice of 24 hours.
The SC refused to stay the investigation despite constant requests from Vikas Singh, Advocate on behalf of the Petitioner. Further, on 7th July, the Apex Court directed the Himachal Pradesh police to file a status report in a sealed cover with requisite details within a week regarding the Vinod Dua sedition case. The Bench also stated that if the journalist’s contentions are satisfactory, it will immediately quash the FIR.
Vikas Singh contended that the required ingredients to prove offences under Sections 124, 153A and 505(2) of the IPC are absent in this case. He further submitted that Vinod Dua was not guilty under section 153A and 505(2) as he has not done anything which goes against any religious, racial or linguistic or regional community.
Moreover, he drew a parallel between USA’s Bills of Rights & Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution, stating that every State Government must constitute a committee before filing an FIR against a person with a media standing of at least 10 years. Mr Singh concluded his arguments and the SC adjourned the case to 2nd September.
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