Meghalaya HC refuses to quash a criminal case against journalist over Facebook post

In Patricia Mukhim v. the State of Meghalaya, The matter is with regard to an incident that occurred in the month of July 2020 wherein a group of boys while playing basketball were attacked by 20-25 unidentified youths.

A petitioner who is a journalist responded to the said incident by posting her comments on Facebook, echoing her stance against such brutal attacks meted out to non-tribal in the State and the ordeal faced by them for the past several decades.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Babu Rao v. State, (1980) 2 SCC 402 was cited wherein it was observed that “…It is seen that S. 153 A (1) (a) of the IPC is not confined to the promotion of feelings of enmity, etc. on grounds of religion only as argued by Shri Sen, but takes in promotion of such feelings on other grounds as well such as race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community….”.

Justice W. Diengdoh further observed, “what can be deduced is that there is an attempt to make a comparison between the tribals and non-tribals vis-a-vis their rights and security and the alleged tipping of the balance in favour of one community over the other.”

The court opined that the same would fall on the mischief of Section 153 A IPC as it apparently seeks to promote disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred, or ill-will between two communities.

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