AHMEDABAD:The Gujarat High Court in its recent order quashed and set aside a sedition case registered against a journalist for writing an article suggesting that Chief Minister Vijay Rupani might be replaced over his failure to handle the Coronavirus pandemic in the state, after he tendered an unconditional apology.
In his order dated November 6, Justice R P Dholaria quashed the FIR against the journalist Dhaval Patel (30), who writes for web portal 'Face of the Nation,' after taking into account his unconditional apology "for the allegedly offending article published by me in my web portal on the basis of which the impugned FIR was registered against me".
Patel stated he had tendered his apology "without prejudice and without admission of any guilt".
The FIR was registered by the CID (Crime) for the write-up in which Patel speculated the CM's likely replacement with Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
The HC stated it was "satisfied with the apology tendered by the young journalist who has just begun his career", and ordered that the FIR be quashed and set aside.
The high court further stated that "as and when he may publish any article in future, no such comments be used against any constitutional functionaries without verification and he shall be cautious of not repeating the same".
Patel was booked under section 124-a (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code and the Disaster Management Act, and arrested in May this year.
He was later granted bail by a local court.