An FIR was filed against Padma Shri awardee and senior journalist Patricia Mukhim, for her post published on Facebook which sought action by the State against an attack on non-tribal boys in Meghalaya.
She was booked for certain non-bailable offences under the Indian Penal Code. Sections 153-A, for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc. Section 500, which is the punishment for defamation and Section 505, which are statements conducing to public mischief.
The Meghalaya High Court had previously refused to quash these proceedings initiated against the journalist.
A Bench of the Supreme Court consisting of Justice Nageshwar Rao and Justice Ravindra Bhat heard the appeal.
Ms. Mukhim was represented by Advocates Vrinda Grover, Soutik Banerjee and Prasanna S, who stated in her plea that the Facebook post only aimed at alerting authorities to enforce the law against the perpetrators of a brutal attack against six non-tribal boys in the State.
The plea stated that this was a mere exercise of the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression as mentioned under Article 19(1) a of the Constitution.
It was further stated that the intention and purpose of the post was to ensure peace and harmony between communities and groups in the State and not to spread hate against the State.
The Supreme Court heard the plea and quashed the hate crime proceedings against the journalist.