KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court has directed the West Bengal Police on Thurday to return a seized mobile phone and a sim card of a doctor posted in North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.
Indranil Khan, an oncologist, moved the court on Wednesday alleging harassment by police after an FIR was filed against him for some of his Facebook and Twitter posts at Mahestala police station in South 24 Parganas district.
He also alleged that the police interrogated him for 16 hours.
The doctor had made some social media posts highlighting the alleged shortage of protective gear for those treating coronavirus patients and suspects.
Khan, in his Twitter handle, uploaded photographs on March 29 and described how doctors are being asked to wear raincoat and use substandard masks.
The doctor was charged under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for allegedly causing disharmony and feeling of hatred which disturbed public tranquility.
He was called by the police for a lengthy interrogation on March 29 over the social media posts and his mobile phone, sim card were seized.
Khan's lawyer Lokenath Chatterjee told the court of Justice I P Mukerji during video conference hearing of the petition.
The High Court Justice said in his order that the state can only do so if a citizen tries to utilise this freedom by trying to circulate alleged facts maliciously with a view to causing damage to another person or to the public at large or the nation.
He directed that there shall be no further interrogation of Khan without the leave of a proper court.
He ordered that the police may start a criminal case against the petitioner without arresting him if at all the evidence prima facie discloses an offence.
Disposing of the petition, Justice restrained the doctor from making any posting on social media concerning the above issue for the time being.