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By arresting three journalists, UP police is acting like Adityanath’s private PR team

prasad1

Well-known member
Journalist Prashant Kanojia was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police in Delhi on Saturday. His alleged crime? He had shared a video on social media about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath. In the clip, a woman claims she has been having video calls with Adityanath for a year and wanted to know if the monk-politician was willing to spend his life with her.

A few hours later, the Uttar Pradesh police arrested the head and editor of a news channel called Nation Live for airing the woman’s views.

Kanojia was booked under Section 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code, and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act (“fraudulently/dishonestly damaging a computer system”).

This overreaction seems to be an attempt by the authorities to safeguard Adityanath’s image as a monk who has taken a vow of life-long celibacy.

Of course, if the women’s claim is false, Adityanath is free to pursue legal remedies in his capacity as a private citizen. But to deploy the Uttar Pradesh police to protect his persona is a blatant misuse of government machinery. The state administration, after all, is not supposed to act as the chief minister’s personal public relations team.

The abuse of power does not end here. Even if we assume for the sake of argument that the women’s claims are false, the sections used to jail Kanojia have been applied illegally, as noted by Live Law. Defamation under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code is a non-cognisable offence, which means that the police cannot act on it directly. Instead, action can be taken only after Adityanath has filed a private complaint with a magistrate.


Moreover, the application of Section 66 of the Information Technology Act is absurd. It is clear that Kanojia could not have succeeded in “damaging a computer system” with a tweet, no matter how inaccurate.

Unfortunately, this kind of abuse of power is not particularly new in India. The country has always had a free speech problem. It ranks 138 out of 180 countries on press freedom, just one place ahead of Pakistan. Books, movies and social media content are heavily policed under strict speech laws.

However, one thing has changed of late: the recently concluded general elections have ensured one of the highest concentrations of political power in independent India under an ascendant Bharatiya Janata Party. This brings about new dangers to civil liberties such as free speech, given that ruling politicians, encouraged by the sizable democratic mandate, could be emboldened to misuse executive power.

In previous cases of civil liberties being threatened by governments, other centres of power have come forward to protect Indian democracy. For instance in May, when a BJP worker was arrested for morphing the image of West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, the Supreme Court intervened swiftly. Last year, the Odisha government was forced to release a defence analyst accused of hurting the religious sentiments of the people of the state after an insistent campaign against his arrest on social media as well as in the press.

Now, more than ever, these institutions need to start pushing back against the government to prevent the blatant misuse of power that is evident in the arrest of journalists for simply sharing a video.


 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
This is the result of too much power vested in one small group.

Now you will see them flouting al rules and regulations undermining democracy !

So much for Rama Rajyam !!
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
The bigger problem is that for the right wing supporters, this govt can do no wrong, and their tacit silence is what is encouraging such blatant illegal actions !!!
 

prasad1

Well-known member
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the immediate release on bail of freelance journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was arrested on Saturday afternoon for social media posts about Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath.

Once his bail bond is presented before the magistrate in Lucknow, Kanojia will be released, presumably on Wednesday morning.

The vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi observed that Kanojia’s arrest and remand were illegal and went against personal liberty, LiveLaw reported. The court also turned down the state’s submission that the petitioner should approach the lower court or high court for bail.

The order came in a habeas corpus petition filed by Kanojia’s wife, Jagisha Arora, seeking his release. Arora’s lawyers, Nitya Ramakrishnan and Shadan Farasat, argued that the FIR against Kanojia has been filed under Sections 500 of the IPC and 66 of the Information Technology Act – both bailable offences.

Their petition laid out procedural lapses on the part of the police, including not presenting Kanojia before a magistrate and no arrest memo being prepared.

Two sections were later added to the charges, which were not on the original FIR – IPC Section 505 and IT Act Section 67. Arora’s petition says that “neither of these sections are even prima-facie made out”.

The bench rejected the state’s stand, which it said was against personal liberty. The court said that while it “did not appreciate” Kanojia’s tweets,” it questioned whether he could be “put behind bars for that”.

“The court need not comment on the contents of the tweets. The question is, should the petitioner have been deprived of his liberty over them. The answer to that is prima facie in the negative. Fundamental rights under Article 19 and 21 are non-negotiable.”
Justice Rastogi further questioned the 11-day remand order, asking: “Is he accused of murder?”

According to The Hindu, the ASG asserted in court that Kanojia’s release would be “construed as an endorsement of his tweets”.

Justice Banerjee responded, “Why should it? It will be treated as an endorsement of his right to personal liberty.”

Arora’s lawyer Ramakrishnan informed the court: “The alleged post on its face value constitutes no criminal offence and [the arrest] is an unwarranted assault on the right to free speech and right to life”.

 
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the immediate release on bail of freelance journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was arrested on Saturday afternoon for social media posts about Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath.

Once his bail bond is presented before the magistrate in Lucknow, Kanojia will be released, presumably on Wednesday morning.

The vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi observed that Kanojia’s arrest and remand were illegal and went against personal liberty, LiveLaw reported. The court also turned down the state’s submission that the petitioner should approach the lower court or high court for bail.

The order came in a habeas corpus petition filed by Kanojia’s wife, Jagisha Arora, seeking his release. Arora’s lawyers, Nitya Ramakrishnan and Shadan Farasat, argued that the FIR against Kanojia has been filed under Sections 500 of the IPC and 66 of the Information Technology Act – both bailable offences.

Their petition laid out procedural lapses on the part of the police, including not presenting Kanojia before a magistrate and no arrest memo being prepared.

Two sections were later added to the charges, which were not on the original FIR – IPC Section 505 and IT Act Section 67. Arora’s petition says that “neither of these sections are even prima-facie made out”.

The bench rejected the state’s stand, which it said was against personal liberty. The court said that while it “did not appreciate” Kanojia’s tweets,” it questioned whether he could be “put behind bars for that”.


Justice Rastogi further questioned the 11-day remand order, asking: “Is he accused of murder?”

According to The Hindu, the ASG asserted in court that Kanojia’s release would be “construed as an endorsement of his tweets”.

Justice Banerjee responded, “Why should it? It will be treated as an endorsement of his right to personal liberty.”

Arora’s lawyer Ramakrishnan informed the court: “The alleged post on its face value constitutes no criminal offence and [the arrest] is an unwarranted assault on the right to free speech and right to life”.

I remember the 'intrepid' N Ram of Hindu running for his life after making a comment against JJ, the chief minister. But for Yogi's magnanimity he would be in ICU. I think this forum has been taken over by anti-hindu,anti-brahmins.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
I remember the 'intrepid' N Ram of Hindu running for his life after making a comment against JJ, the chief minister. But for Yogi's magnanimity he would be in ICU. I think this forum has been taken over by anti-hindu,anti-brahmins.

Your comment is absurd to say the least. You are no better than your purported idol.
The liberty we won sacrificing brave blood, was for the freedom of human life. You will not understand the value of liberty.
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
There should be no 2 ways on core issues like freedom of speech, equality, and illegal actions, etc..

Partisan ship should be eschewed when it comes these core issue, otherwise we will descend into a tyrant state !!
 
Your comment is absurd to say the least. You are no better than your purported idol.
The liberty we won sacrificing brave blood, was for the freedom of human life. You will not understand the value of liberty.
Don't remember seeing your name among the martyrs who sacrified their blood for freedom.
Sad that a senior member like you makes personal attacks.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in state assembly: 119 people have been booked for derogatory posts against the CM on social media, since the government assumed charge.
My idol is better than yours.
 

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