SC condemns the police for harassing people for social media posts

SC is after the police summoned a woman over her Facebook post. SC has held the nation to remain as a country with free speech. The woman in this case has posted a photo of the crowded Raja Bazar area of Kolkata on Facebook. She questioned the enforcement of lockdown by the Mamta Banerjee government.

On 28th October 2020, the Supreme Court held that ordinary citizens cannot be summoned or harassed for criticizing the government. If police file an FIR and summon ordinary citizens for these reasons, then it will become a dangerous trend for the Court to involve in every case and uphold the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the constitution. A person cannot be punished for his free speech. FIR was registered for offences under Penal Code:

  • Involving promoting enmity between religious groups (Section 153A)
  • Outraging religious feelings (Section 295A)
  • Defamation (Section 500)
  • Breach of peace (Section 504)
  • Public mischief (Section 505)
  • Other provisions under the Information Technology Act and Disaster Management Act.

The Kolkata police issued her summons under Section 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code. HC ordered to proceed with the petition to quash FIR.

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