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Innocent

Sedition can’t be used under pretence of muzzling miscreants: Court

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New Delhi, Feb 16, 2021 –
A Delhi court, granting bail to a man accused of posting fake videos on Facebook on the farmer protests, observed that law of sedition cannot be invoked to “quieten disquiet under the pretence of muzzling the miscreants”.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana noted that in the absence of exhortation or incitement to create disorder or disturb public peace or resort to violence, law of sedition cannot be invoked.

“The law of sedition is a powerful tool in the hands of the state to maintain peace and order in the society. However, it cannot be invoked to quieten the disquiet under the pretence of muzzling the miscreants,” the court said.

Evidently, law prescribes any act which has a tendency to create disorder or disturbance of public peace by resort to violence, the court said, adding that in the absence of any exhortation, it suspects that sedition can be invoked.

According to the prosecution, the accused who is a 21-year-old labourer, posted a fake video on his Facebook page with the tagline ‘Delhi Police mae bagawat 200 policekarmiyon ne diya samuhik istifa (Revolt in Delhi Police 200 police personnel submit collective resignation)’.

The police claimed that the accused not only made a sensational Facebook post with an intent to spread disaffection against the state but has also committed forgery.

The court was, however, informed by the investigating officer that the applicant is not the author of the said post and he has merely forwarded it.

“In my considered opinion, on a plain reading of the tagline attributed to the applicant/accused, invocation of Section 124 A IPC is a seriously debatable issue,” the court said and bailed out the accused on him furnishing a bond in the sum of Rs 50,000 with one surety in the like amount. (Agency)

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