Monday, July 18, 2022

Freedom of speech does not extend to hurling abuses against Prime Minister: Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court recently refused to quash a first information report (FIR) registered against a man accused of putting up Facebook posts containing abusive and derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah among others.

A bench of Justice Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Justice Rajendra Kumar-IV held that hurling abuses against any citizen, more so the Prime Minister, will not get the protection of free speech.

"Although constitution of this country recognizes freedom of speech with every citizen but such right does not extend to hurling abuses or making derogatory remarks against any citizen much less the Prime Minister or other Ministers of the Government of India."

As per the FIR, the petitioner-accused Mumtaz Mansoori had put up a "highly objectionable" Facebook post in which he referred to the Prime Minister and Home Minister and other ministers as "dog".

He was booked by the Uttar Pradesh Police under Section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act.

He then moved the High Court to quash the case.

The Court held that the FIR disclosed a cognizable offence and dismissed the plea.

"The First Information Report clearly discloses commissioning of cognizable offence. We find no good ground to interfere in the present writ petition filed with a prayer to quash such First Information Report." 

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