Lawstreet Journal

"Extreme or Harsh Point of View not Hate Speech": Bombay High Court Reiterates Ingredients of Section 153A, IPC [READ JUDGMENT]

Lawstreet Journal 8 May 2021 8:38pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary "Extreme or Harsh Point of View not Hate Speech": Bombay High Court Reiterates Ingredients of Section 153A, IPC [READ JUDGMENT]

In our democracy, the freedom to express oneself is a respected and valued right. A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik noted that just because the Petitioner's point of view is severe or harsh does not make it hate speech because it is simply voicing a certain point of view. 

Observing that an extreme or harsh point of view would not amount to hate speech, the Bombay High Court quashed an FIR against Navi Mumbai resident Sunaina Holey.

Holey was charged under ‘section 153A of the Indian Penal Code’ (promoting enmity between various communities on the basis of religion) for uploading a video with a statement on migrant workers gathered outside Bandra Masjid in Mumbai on April 14, 2020, at the height of the nationwide lockdown.

A guy yelled in the video that the Covid - 19 pandemic was not caused by God, but by India's prime minister. Holey's purpose in reposting the video with a statement, according to the bench, was solely to criticise the man's point of view. Assuming that the said tweet is an unreasonable viewpoint articulated in response to a member of the audience who blamed India's Prime Minister for the outbreak of the pandemic, the said tweet must always be judged from the perspective of what a strong-willed, rational, or sensible individual might do.

By no stretch of the imagination, it can be said that the said tweet generated animosity or enmity between the two classes of societies if the test of a powerful or wise… Continue Reading...

Tagged: Bombay High Court  
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