Bombay High Court says Freedom of speech is not absolute, denies protection to Twitter trolls

Team SoOLEGAL 14 Sep 2020 3:16pm

Bombay High Court says Freedom of speech is not absolute, denies protection to Twitter trolls

Bombay HC on Friday 11th September said that freedom of speech and expression provided under Article 19 of the Constitution is not an absolute right while denying interim protection from arrest to a woman from making objectionable remarks on social media against the Chief Minister Uddhav Thakrey and his son Aditya Thakrey.

The bench comprising of Hon’ble Justices S.S Shinde and M.S Karnik, accepted state government’s verbal assurance that woman Sunaina Holle would not be arrested for at least next two weeks.

The state stated that Sunaina will only get relief from arrest if she assists the police in investigation at Azad Maidan, Tulinj police station, Mumbai and Palghar respectively for questioning. The bench stated that Holle can anytime approach the court whenever she feels that police is taking any drastic actions against her or if any of her rights are violated.

Abhinav Chandrachud, council of Holle appealed to the court that all the charges against her should be quashed. She appealed that the court provide her with protection from arrest until the hearing of her case is over and the court decided to quash the FIR against her.

The FIR registered following complaints made by Shiv Sena Youth Wing Leader Rohan Chauhan including several people . According to the complaints 38, years old Holle made objectionable and derogatory statements against the Chief Minister and his son on Twitter, she was arrested in August and was released on bail, in a case related to the FIR lodged against het by BKC Cyber Crime Police. On the remaining two FIRs she was given notice and was asked to come to the respective police station for investigation to which she didn't respond.

On September 11 Govt. Advocate Y.P. Yagnik told the court that Holle didn’t responded to the notices. Council of Holle stated that she was apprehensive that she would be arrested if she met the police, therefore she sought interim protection. The bench said that interim protection can only be granted in odd cases. But it was noted that the person should not be arrested as long as he/she is assisting and cooperating in Police Investigation. If anyone is required to be arrested then the Police will have to provide for prior notice for arrest.

Tagged: Bombay High Court   Twitter trolls   Article 19   Chief Minister Uddhav Thakrey   Aditya Thakrey   Justice S.S Shinde   Justice M.S Karnik   woman Sunaina Holle   Abhinav Chandrachud   Shiv Sena   Cyber Crime Police   Advocate Y.P. Yagnik  
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