Today, the Bombay High Court has granted interim protection to Actress Kangana Ranaut & her sister Rangoli Chandel in the case filed by the Mumbai Police over allegedly hateful tweets.
While hearing, the two-Judge Bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice MS Karnik has granted the protection to both the sisters after the Mumbai police said them to appear before them on January 8, 2021 through Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee in compliance with the summons issued.
The Court has orally said that there is a trend of adding the offence of sedition under Section 124A, IPC to complaints registered against those individuals who speaks against a Government. The court has observed that it has been granting protection in cases where there are offences under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Adding such serious protection in the FIR, restrict to grant protection at ad-interim stages.
The Court said, “Even in routine cases of 498A, when there is possibility of compromise, then we have granted protection.”
The Court proceeded to ask the Chief Public Prosecutor Deepak Thakre to explain to the Court the need to invoke Section 124A of the IPC.
“You must conduct a workshop with the police officers to tell them what sections to invoke,” the Court said. Moreover, the court replied to the original complainant Munnawarali Sayyed that “………nowadays whatever is against the ruling government is considered sedition.“
The Court, however, asked Siddiquee to take instructions that the sisters will not publish anything on any of their social media handles pertaining to the matter that is subject in the present FIR.
“There is freedom of speech, no doubt, but that freedom is for the other citizens too,” the Court said. Also, the court ordered that both the sisters will be protected from any coercive action in terms of the summons issued by the Mumbai Police.
On Monday, the petition filed by actress Ranaut & her sister Chandel prayed for quashing the registered FIR by Mumbai police for accusing them of sedition.
The next hearing of the plea was adjourned to January 11, 2021.