The Bombay High Court (HC) has quashed the FIR concerning tweets of Navi Mumbai resident Sunaina Holey.
A bench comprising Justice SS Shinde and Justice MS Karnik has reserved the petition for orders on 7th January as Holey was booked following her tweet on the mass congregation of migrant workers outside the Bandra station amidst the Covid-19 induced nationwide lockdown in April 2020.
The Maharashtra state government’s request to stay the order has also been refused by the aforementioned bench.
The FIR against Holey was filed at the Azad Maidan Police Station under section 153A that concerns around ‘promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.’
“It is revealed from the contents of the complaint that no community or religion was named & if a test of a strong and prudent person is applied, the tweet cannot said to have created hatred and it is difficult to arrive at a conclusion that petitioner has mens rea,” the bench was quoted as saying by Live Law.
Holey had in fact filed a criminal writ petition under section 482 of the CrPC and pointed towards political motivation behind the FIR against her as her tweet was critical of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
Senior advocate MS Mohite, appearing for the state government, had claimed in an earlier hearing that Holey was engaged in spreading misinformation in a volatile situation. However, he admitted later on that the lady’s tweet wasn’t responsible for the crowding of migrant workers.
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