A sedition case was registered against senior journalist and Padma Shri awardee, Vinod Dua for his critical remarks about the Prime Minister and the Union Government in a YouTube telecast.
The complaint was filed by a BJP leader. It was alleged that the senior journalist was spreading fake news.
In 2020, Mr. Dua had approached the Supreme Court after the Himachal Police appeared at his residence. The Supreme Court had provided him protection from arrest reserved the final judgement to another date.
In 2021, a Bench of the Supreme Court consisting of Justice U U Lalit and Vineet Saran delivered the judgement.
While delivering the judgement, the court relied upon the case Kedarnath Singh v. State of Bihar decided in 1962.
The 1962 judgment has stated that merely commenting on the measures or acts of Government, without exciting feelings of enmity and disloyalty, which implies excitement to public disorder or the use of violence is not sedition”.
In the present case, Justice Lalit stated that every journalist is protected by virtue of the Kedarnath Singh judgement. It was further stated that free speech of a journalist should be protected from charges of sedition.
The Bench quashed sedition charges against Vinod Dua and upheld that every journalist has the right to criticise, even brutally, the measures of the government with a view to improve or alter them through legal means.