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Expression of dissent against state affairs not criminal offence: Allahabad HC

The petitioner had allegedly tweeted that UP CM Yogi Adityanath had turned the state into a jungle raj where law and order had no prevalence.

Published: 24th December 2020 08:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th December 2020 08:49 PM   |  A+A-

allahabad high court

Allahabad High Court (File photo| EPS)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: While junking an FIR filed against a person for condemning the law and order scenario in UP, the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday observed that mere expression of dissent against the affairs of the state was not a criminal offence.

While hearing a writ petition filed by one Yashwant Singh, a division bench, comprising Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal stated: "Expressing dissent on law and order situation in the state is a hallmark of a constitutional liberal democracy like ours, constitutionally protected under Art 19 of the
Constitution."

The petitioner had sought court's intervention in getting an FIR, lodged against him by the UP police, quashed. He was allegedly booked for his tweets making critical remarks about the UP government.

The petitioner had allegedly tweeted that UP CM Yogi Adityanath had turned the state into a jungle raj where law and order had no prevalence. The petitioner had allegedly substantiated his claims by citing various incidents of abduction, ransom and murder taken place in the state.

The petitioner was booked by the UP police authorities under Section 66-D of the Information and Technology Act and Section 500 of IPC (Defamation).

The court, after analysing the first section invoked under IT Act against the petitioner, said that they did not find even remotely a commission of offence done under Section 66-D as it pertained to cheating by the presentation and nothing of that sort had taken place. So no offence under Section 66-D IT Act was made out.

While referring to Section 500 of IPC, the division bench said that offence was not made out under it as well as the alleged tweet could not be said to fall within the mischief of defamation.



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