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news details
HC quashes FIR against Journalist
9/22/2021 10:47:29 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Sept 22: The High Court today quashed FIR against journalist Sushil Pandit who tweeted false information about a militant attack on the CRPF and killing of five personnel at Pampore.
Justice Rajnesh Oswal while quashing FIR observed that the FIR impugned is nothing but an abuse of process of law and the case of the petitioner. During the course of hearing Advocate Ankur Sharma submitted on 21-5-2018, a seminar was hosted by Seema Mustafa on the issue of Kashmir in India International Center, New Delhi. During the course of this seminar 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 are killed in Pampore' and thereafter resumed his address.
The petitioner tweeted from his twitter handle with regard to the killing of 5 CRPF jawans. It is 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 was posted by him was, in fact merely a rumor and advised the petitioner to delete the same and on coming to know that it was just a rumor, the petitioner deleted his tweet. The petitioner submitted that he 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 the petitioner.
Justice Rajnesh 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 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. With these observations High Court quashed the FIR.
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