STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court today quashed FIR against Journalist Sushil Pandit who tweeted false information about a terrorist attack on CRPF and killing of five personnel at Pampore.Justice Rajnesh Oswal while quashing FIR after hearing Adv Ankur Sharma for the petitioner observed that FIR impugned, is nothing but an abuse of process of law and the case of the petitioner. During the course of hearing Adv Ankur Sharma submitted on 21.05.2018, at about 10 AM, a seminar was hosted by Seema Mustafa on the issue of Kashmir in India International Center, New Delhi. The speakers included Wajahat Habibullah (Retired Bureaucrat), Siddiq Wahid (Ex Vice chancellor), Mohd Yosuf Tarigami (ex-MLA), Kapil Kak (Retired Air Vice Marshal), Gauhar Geelani (Journalist) and several other politicians and activists from Jammu and Kashmir. During the course of this seminar, in the afternoon, one speaker, Tauseef Raina, while addressing the seminar, paused for a moment to look at his mobile phone and then said ‘As I am speaking, 5 CRPF Jawans have been killed in Pampore’ and thereafter resumed his address. The petitioner tweeted from his twitter handle regarding killing of 5 CRPF Jawans. It was stated that after a couple of hours, a friend of the petitioner from Jammu and Kashmir, called him on his mobile phone and informed him that the tweet posted by him was, in fact merely a rumour and advised the petitioner to delete the same and on coming to know that it was just a rumour, the petitioner deleted his tweet at about 2.30 PM. It was submitted that the petitioner was not aware that his accidental tweet was probably saved by some persons who would later on use it for their political end to harass petitioner. It was also stated that after sometime while the petitioner was checking his twitter, he was surprised to see that the ex-Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir who used the tweet of petitioner as prop on his own tweet, tweeted a fresh tweet. It was further stated that the said ex-Chief Minister gave the intentional communal meaning to the tweet of petitioner and if tweet of the petitioner is taken on its face value to be true, it does not carry any communal inflammatory language, which can create or spread communal hatred between two religious communities.Adv Ankur Sharma vehemently argued that the petitioner had posted the tweet believing it to be true but as soon as he found the same to be fake, he immediately deleted his tweet. He further submitted that no offence is made out against the petitioner as the essential ingredients of offence under section 505 RPC are missing and further assuming the offence is made out, even then the case of the petitioner falls within the exception appended to section 505 RPC.Justice Rajnesh Oswal, after hearing both the sides observed that mens rea is an essential ingredient of offence under section 505 RPC and as it provides a reasonable restriction on the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression therefore the same is required to be strictly construed. “The intention to generate the consequences as envisaged by section 505 RPC must be forthcoming from the plain reading of the statement/report or rumour and should not be left at the discretion of a particular person. A perusal of the petitioner’s tweet would reveal that it begins with words ‘Just Heard’, meaning thereby that what was uploaded by him was just heard by him and he had no personal knowledge of the same. Further the act of the petitioner in deleting the said tweet has not been disputed/denied by the respondents and this subsequent conduct of the petitioner also makes it ample clear that the said tweet was uploaded in a good faith without any criminal intention to generate the consequences as provided by section 505 RPC. At the most from the tweet in question, it can be inferred that the petitioner was not in favour of the ceasefire during the holy month of Ramzan but the same can, by no means can be construed to be an act on the part of the petitioner to generate the consequences as envisaged by the section 505 RPC. As such the essential ingredients of offence under section 505RPC are lacking in the FIR. Further, exception to section 505 RPC clearly provides that it does not amount to an offence within the meaning of this section when a person making, publishing or circulating such report, rumor or report has reasonable grounds for believing that such statement, rumor or report is true and makes, publishes or circulates in good faith and without any such intent. As already observed merely use of words ‘Just heard’ would demonstrate that the petitioner has not published any statement on his own but on the basis of what he heard. He tweeted in the good faith what he heard, believing it to be true, that was in fact not true and immediately deleted it as soon as he came to know about the falsity of the content of tweet. Even if for the sake of arguments the offence is made out against the petitioner still his case would fall within the exception as well. Reliance is placed upon the decision of Apex Court in Vinod Dua vs Union of India and Ors reported in 2021 SCC Online SC 414, where in Apex Court while relying upon number of its earlier decisions quashed the criminal proceedings arising out of FIR on the ground that the statements of the petitioner were covered by Exception 2 and Exception 3 of section 499,” Court said and quashed the FIR.
Indian Legal Lottery Operator Competing for Top British Contract
Ladakh reports 33 new Covid cases
Anti-inflammation drug may effectively treat COVID-19 complications in children: Study
Apple previews new software for iPhone, other gadgets
Petrol, diesel prices hiked again; diesel above Rs 99/litre from Srinagar to Chennai
Gold gains marginally; silver jumps Rs 198
Petrol, diesel prices hiked again
Rupee surges 26 paise against US dollar in early trade
India, Israel agree to resume negotiations on FTA from next month
Download 10Cric Casino app, and enjoy Indias most popular casino games, directly on your mobile!
Gamble with real money online! Play Indias favourite casino games at 7Jackpots.com, Indias most trusted online casino site.
© 2020 State Times Daily Newspaper | Powered by Ideogram Technology Solutions [P] Ltd.