Litigation Tracker

 

This page list the ongoing cases before different courts in India and in other jurisdictions on digital rights.

 

SFLC.in's Litigation
Other Litigation
 
This section lists down cases where SFLC.in in various capacities, has provided legal support for the protection of digital rights.
This section lists down prominent ongoing cases in India which deal with the issue of intermediary liability, free-speech and other digital rights.
 

15.09.2022

 
 

Name: Center for Public Interest Litigation and Another vs. Union of India and Others [WP (C) No. 8998 / 2020]

Issue: Surveillance, Right to Privacy

Forum or Court: Delhi High Court

Case Summary: A Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India was filed by the Center for Public Interest Litigation and SFLC.in challenging the operation and execution of three surveillance projects namely CMS, NETRA and NATGRID, which collectively and separately seek to spy on the communication of citizens in India. The aforementioned projects allow the government agencies to intercept and monitor all and any telecom and internet communications in bulk, furthering the process of construction of a mass illegal dragnet surveillance system by the state. The Petition prays for directions to be issued to permanently stop the execution and operation of the Surveillance Projects and constitution of independent oversight body under the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Information Technology Act, 2000

Decision/Status:The matter was adjourned as the Counsel for Respondent submitted that the arguing Counsel was not available due to health issues. The The next date of hearing is 19.01.2023

Further Reading: The case summary along with a copy of the Petition can be found here

Read more

09.09.2022

 
 

Name: Software Freedom Law Center, India vs. State of Arunachal Pradesh and Others [WP (C) No. 314 / 2022]

Issue: Internet Shutdowns, Freedom of Speech

Forum or Court: Supreme Court

Case Summary: SFLC.in has filed a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution before the Supreme Court of India against the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal challenging the arbitrary imposition of Internet Shutdowns during examinations. The State of Assam was impleaded in the petition as well. India is the leader in imposing Internet Shutdowns gloablly. The phenomenon of blanket internet bans during examinations to prevent copying has become common in several Indian states. Such bans primarily target mobile internet services.

Decision/Status: The Court impleaded the Ministry of Communications through its Secretary, Government of India, is impleaded as Respondent No.5 and issued notice only on the Ministry of Communications to put in an affidavit in response indicating whether there is any Standard Protocol with respect to the grievance raised by the petitioner and, if so, to what extent and how said Protocol is adhered to and implemented.The The next date of hearing is 14.10.2022

Further Reading: The case summary can be found here

Read more

25.08.2022

 
 

Name: Degree Prasad Chauhan and Another vs. Union of India and Others [WP (C) No. 909 of 2021]

Issue: Pegasus spyware, Right to Privacy, Surveillance

Forum or Court: Supreme Court

Case Summary: A Writ Petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India was filed by Mr. Degree Prasad Chauhan, human rights defender, journalist, lawyer and activist and SFLC.in seeking issuance of directions to ensure the protection of fundamental rights of the citizens of India, in the backdrop of the Pegasus controversy, and evidence suggesting the use of the Pegasus spyware on Indian citizens and the lack of judicial oversight or other safeguards against such invasive surveillance methods. The Petition prays for directions to be issued to the Central Government and all the State Governments to not have any dealings with NSO and to discontinue its dealings with NSO, prohibit outsourcing/sub-contracting any surveillance activity to the private sector and directing a discontinuation of such dealings, establishing of a judicial oversight mechanism for issuance of surveillance orders, issuance of guidelines on certain aspects such as judicial oversight, compliance with the principles of necessity and proportionality, a court monitored probe/investigation into the issue of surveillance by the Pegasus spyware in India, disclosure of certain details by the Government of India on the Pegasus controversy; declaration of Rule 419A of the Telegraph Rules as unconstitutional, declaration of Section 69 of the IT Act, 2000 as unconstitutional and declaration of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 20009 as unconstitutional.

Decision/Status: The Technical Committee and the Overseeing Judge submitted their Reports to the Court. They have submitted that out of 29 phones, 5 were infected with malware but the presence of Pegasus spyware is inconclusive. The Report of the Overseeing Committee will be made public and the Report of the Technical Committee will be made public on a redacted form. The matter is now adjourned to be listed in the after 4 weeks.

Further Reading: The case summary along with a copy of the Petition can be found here. SFLC.in’s explainer on SC Pegasus Order can be found here

Read more

27.07.2022

 
 

Name: Union of India vs. Bhakta Tripathy [TP (C) 1147-1150 of 2021]

Issue: Intermediary Liability, Encryption, Right to Privacy

Forum or Court: Supreme Court

Case Summary: A Transfer Petition has been filed by Union of India through the Ministry of Information and Braodband and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology before the Supreme Court tagging all the Petitions across the country challenging the The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 ("IL Rules, 2021"). A Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India was filed by Praveen Arimbrathodiyil, a free and open-source software (FOSS) developer and a volunteer member of the Free Software Community of India (FSMI), challenging certain provisions of the IL Rules, 2021. The Writ Petition filed by Praveen Arimbrathodiyil is also transferred before the Supreme Court as part of this Petition. SFLC.in is providing legal assistance to the Petitioner.

Decision/Status: The Court deferred the matter as a letter seeking adjournment on the ground of personal difficulty of the learned Solicitor General was circulated. The matter is deferred till 17.08.2022.

Further Reading: The case summary along can be found here . SFLC.in’s analysis of the Intermediary Rules, 2021 can be found here.

Read more

01.04.2022

 
 

Name: Praveen Arimbrathodiyil vs. Union of India & Anr. [WP(C) No. 9647/2021]

Issue: Intermediary Liability

Forum or Court: Kerala High Court

Case Summary: A Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India was filed by Praveen Arimbrathodiyil, a free and open-source software (FOSS) developer and a volunteer member of the Free Software Community of India (FSMI), challenging certain provisions of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“IL Rules”). SFLC.in provided legal assistance to the Petitioner in this case. The Petition prays for quashing of Part II, claiming it to be violative of Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. The Petition also states that the IL Rules contain vague and ambiguous terms, undermine encryption, violate the principles laid down in the case of Shreya Singhal v. Union of India and as a piece of delegated legislation, exceeds the scope of the parent statute i.e. the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Decision/Status: The Petition is now transferred to the Supreme Court and is pending adjudication.

Further Reading: The case summary along with a copy of the Petition can be found here . SFLC.in’s analysis of the Intermediary Rules, 2021 can be found here.

Read more

28.01.2022

 
 

Name: Yarlagadda Kiran Chandra Vs Union of India [WP (C) No. 8406/2021]

Issue: Cybersecurity, Data Breaches

Forum or Court: Delhi High Court

Case Summary: A Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India was filed by Yarlagadda Kiran Chandra, General Secretary of FSMI (Free Software Movement of India). The Petiition prays directions to be issued to the Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT.In), for taking appropriate and necessary action in relation to the representations which were sent to it by the Petitioner respond to the Petitioner’s representations investigations into the data breaches at Domino’s, MobiKwik, Air India and BigBasket

Decision/Status: The case is pending adjudication before the court. The Counsel for Respondent sought time to seek instructions on 13.08.2021. Since then the matter was listed before the Court but it was not taken up due to paucity of time. The next date of hearing in the matter is 25.05.2022.

Further Reading: The case summary along with a copy of the Petition can be found here

Read more

25.05.2021

 
 

Name: SFLC.in vs. Union of India & Others

Issue: Digital Divide, Privacy

Forum or Court: Supreme Court

Case Summary: The Intervention Application draws the Hon’ble Court’s attention towards the mandatory imposition of CoWIN for 18-44 age group, its de-facto imposition for 45+ age group, the technical glitches, and the privacy concerns arising from CoWIN. The Intervention Application further highlights the digital divide in India where there are approximately 40% internet users, and the lack of digital literacy which is needed to book a slot on CoWIN portal. The Application also brings forth the glitches faced by people including the errors in the vaccination certificates and delays in receiving OTPs. The Application has also relied on reports of tussles in rural areas due to online slot booking. It also states that the latest decision allowing site registrations is an eyewash because it has left it to the states to fend for themselves and decide on this issue. It also draws the Court’s attention about the lack of a specific privacy policy. CoWIN is notably linked to the Health Data Management Portal instead of having a specific privacy policy.

Decision/Status: The IA has been filed and it will be listed for a hearing shortly.

Further Reading: None

Read more

24.05.2021

 
 

Name: Dr. K P Aravindan & Another vs. Union of India & Othrs.

Issue: Vaccine Policy, Intellectual Property

Forum or Court: Kerala High Court

Case Summary: The Petitioner filed a Writ Petition before the Hon’ble Kerala High Court, challenging the implementation of the Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination strategy. The Petition highlights various issues with the pricing policy which has allowed a multi-track procurement process and a differential vaccine pricing mechanism where vaccines would be supplied by two different vaccine manufacturers. The Petition states that there is differential pricing structure for the central and state governments which would result in low coverage and it also violates the right to health as a subset of right to life enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The Writ Petition emphasizes on Open Access, Open knowledge and prays for a transfer of technology so as to enable multiple manufacturers across the country to manufacture the vaccine in bulk. SFLC.in provided legal assistance to the Petitioner.

Decision/Status: The matter came up on 14.05.2021 before the vacation bench of Justice Ashok Menon and Justice Murali Purushothaman. Prasanth Sugathan (Legal Director, SFLC.in), arguing on behalf of the Petitioner, submitted that technology transfer should be done for manufacturing Covaxin to enable enhanced production of vaccines and vaccination of more number of people in a shorter period. He further argued that differential pricing in respect of the vaccine was violative of Article 14. A notice was issued in the matter on the same date. On the next date of hearing on 24.05.2021, Prasanth Sugathan, arguing on behalf of the Petitioner, raised the point that the vaccination was on a decline as compared to the situation before the Vaccine Policy. He further stated that private companies were giving out vaccines but the public was not able to obtain it from government channels. The Hon’ble Court suggested that the Government could cap the prices to make sure that private hospitals were not unjustly enriched by the sale of vaccines. The case is listed for 01.06.2021.

Further Reading: A blogpost on the case along with a copy of the Petition can be found here

Read more

09.02.2021

 
 

Name: Kabir Choudhary vs. State of Haryana and Anr.

Issue: Internet Shutdown

Forum or Court: Punjab & Haryana High Court

Case Summary: The Writ Petition was filed challenging the imposition of internet shutdowns in various districts in the state of Haryana. On 27.01.2021, internet was initially suspended in the districts of Jhajjhar, Sonipat and Palwal. The initial shutdown was to last till 5 pm on 27.02.2021 but it was subsequently extended till 5 pm on 28.01.2021. Subsequently, the internet shutdown was arbitrarily extended to a total of 17 districts. The shutdown was completely lifted on 06.02.2021, after a period of more than 10 days. The Petition prayed for quashing of the order imposing the internet shutdown. It further prayed for constituting a committee of government officials, representatives from the civil society, economists and independent policy professionals to study the economic impact of the internet shutdown that was imposed in this case.

Decision/Status: The case was withdrawn by the Petitioner as it was the opinion of the Hon’ble Court that the matter had become infructuous.

Further Reading: The case summary along with a copy of the petition can be found here.

Read more

22.09.2020

 
 

Name: Anivar A. Arvind vs. Ministry of Home Affairs (Aarogya Setu) [PIL WP (C) 7483 of 2020]

Issue: Privacy and FOSS

Forum or Court: Karnataka High Court

Case Summary: Aarogya Setu is India’s contact tracing application which was launched in April, 2020. Since then, there have been several function creeps in the Application. Advisory board member of SFLC.in Mr. Anivar A. Aravind has moved to the Karnataka High Court, challenging the de-facto imposition of Aarogya Setu and lack of a specific legislation governing it. He is represented by lawyers from SFLC.in, Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, Advocate Ali Zia Kabir, Advocate Clifton Rozario and Advocate Avani Chokshi. The prayers for interim relief include that the Union of India must state it on record that Aarogya Setu will not be made mandatory for any services, and that the data collection and processing via Aarogya Setu must be scrapped until the Government brings a specific legislation governing data collection and data processing. The Petitioner has also prayed that all the data shared with third parties must be deleted.

Decision/Status: The case is pending adjudication before the court. On the last date of hearing, the Respondents had been directed to file their response on the mandatory-voluntary nature of the Aarogya Setu app.

Further Reading: A copy of the Petition can be accessed here. Case Updates can be found here.

Read more

None

 
 

Name: Software Freedom Law Center, India vs. State of West Bengal [W.P. No. 5425 of 2020]

Issue: Internet Shutdown

Forum or Court: Calcutta High Court

Case Summary: SFLC.in filed a Public Interest Litigation, challenging the imposition of an internet shutdown which was done in Hoogly district in West Bengal on May 12, 2020. The Petitioner claimed in the Petition that the shutdown was illegal and unconstitutional on the grounds of violation of fundamental rights, lack of jurisdiction, there being no justification for issuing such order and the order being disproportional to the situation prevailing in the area concerned.

Decision/Status: The case is pending adjudication and the pleadings of parties have been completed. The case is to be listed for final arguments.

Further Reading: A detailed case note along with the copy of the Writ Petition can be found here

Read more

26.09.2018

 
 

Name: Impleadment Application on behalf of Ms. Maya Saran (Filed in the case of) Shantha Sinha & Anr. vs. Union of India & Anr. [Writ Petition No. 342 of 2017] (This case was tagged along with the case of Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Anr. V. Union of India and Othrs. Writ Petition (C) No. 494 of 2012)

Issue: Aadhaar, Right to Privacy

Forum or Court: Supreme Court

Case Summary: SFLC.in filed an impleadment application in this case on behalf of the Applicant who was a citizen of Canada and a resident of India, who had not enrolled for the Aadhaar project. The Applicant was aggrieved by the forced mandate to enroll for Aadhaar ad the authentication by private enterprises. The Petition also pointed out that biometric technologies were neither secure nor infallible and by rolling out the technology, the entire population of India had been subjected to risks of identity theft and misuse. The Applicant prayed for impleadment as a respondent in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 342 of 2017 - Shantha Sinha & Anr. vs. Union of India & Anr. The said Writ Petition had been filed seeking a direction to declare various sections of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 as null and void and the case was clubbed with the Writ Petition (Civil) No. 494 of 2012 - Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Anr. vs. Union of India and Othrs. The Applicant also sought to issue an Order against the Respondents to issue a clarification to all entities using Aadhaar for authentication and verification, regarding exemption from mandatory use of Aadhaar for the Applicant since she was a foreign citizen and for a direction to all such entities, to ensure the availability of a convenient alternative method for verification for the Applicant.

Decision/Status: None

Further Reading: A copy of the Judgment can be found here.

Read more

24.09.2019

 
 

Name: Google LLC vs. Commission Nationale De L’informatique et des libertes (CNIL) Case (Case C-507/17)

Issue: Personal Data protection, Right to be forgotten

Forum or Court: Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)

Case Summary: In 2014, the French Data Protection Authority, the CNIL (Commission Nationale de L’Informatique et des Libertés) Ordered Google to remove 21 links from a set of results of an internet search in respect of the name of a French citizen who claimed a “right to be forgotten”. Google removed the links from its French search site and other European search sites and other European search sites but CNIL demanded that it go further stating that when it orders content to be “forgotten” from search results, the decision must be given effect globally and the results must be unavailable to all the users around the world, regardless of the place from which they are accessing internet search engines. CNIL also imposed a fine of € 100,000 on Google. The case was referred to the CJEU by the Conseil d’Etat in France, after Google refused to de-reference information from jurisdictions beyond the European Union as it had been ordered to do by te CNIL. SFLC.in along with 17 other civil society organizations from around the world had intervened in this matter. The Written Observations highlighted the serious concerns about CNIL’s approach and its implications on human rights worldwide. It also submitted that the Right to be de-listed (“RTBD”) must be interpreted in line with the strict proportionality test and in a manner which is strictly necessary to achieve the protection of the rights of the inidividual seeking the RTBD. It further proposed that due regard must be had to the fundamental importance of freedom of expression and access to information online and across borders. In our legal submissions filed before the

Decision/Status: The Court held that search engines who have been requested for de-referencing links under the right to be forgotten, are not obliged to perform the de-referencing from all (global) versions of its service. CJEU stated that a number of countries around the world either do not recognize the Right to be Forgotten (RTBF) or have different approaches to it. The Court referred to GDPR and stated that the protection of personal data was not an absolute right and it had to be counter balanced with other rights such as freedom of information of internet users as per the principle of proportionality.

Further Reading: (Details about the case can be found here)

Read more

19.09.2019

 
 

Name: Fahima Shireen V. State of Kerala [I.A. No. 1/19 in W.P. (C) No. 19716/2019]

Issue: Internet Rights

Forum or Court: Kerala High Court

Case Summary: An undergraduate student in Kerala filed a Writ Petition before the Court against hostel rules which were discriminatory against female residents. The hostel rules prohibited the usage of mobile phones between 6pm to 10pm for residents of girls’ hostel. Moreover, undergraduate students were not allowed to use laptops in hostel premises. The Petitioner had also been expelled from the college hostel for using the mobile phone beyond the restricted hours. The Petition claimed that the rule was in contravention of Article 14 and 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. SFLC.in filed an impleadment application in this case, raising the importance of internet and use of digital resources to learn and communicate.

Decision/Status: The Court held that the right to access to the internet is a part of the fundamental right to education as well as the right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution. The Court also ordered the Principle of the college in question to re-admit the Petitioner who had been expelled from the college hostel.

Further Reading: A detailed post about the case along with a copy of the judgment can be found here.

Read more

28.06.2017

 
 

Name: Also Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc. [SCC 34, (2017) 1 S.C.R. 824]

Issue: Content takedown

Forum or Court: Supreme Court of Canada

Case Summary: Google was asked to de-index listings for protection of trade secret rights of a subject from its global versions but it refused to do so. SFLC.in had filed an intervention in this case.

Decision/Status:The court ruled against Google and directed the company for a global takedown which required the search engine to de-index the listings from its global versions.

Further Reading: Text of the judgment can be found here.

Read more

24.03.2015

 
 

Name: Mouthshut vs. Union of India [W.P. (C) No. 217 of 2013] (Tagged along with Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India W.P. (Crl.) No. 167 of 2012)

Issue: Intermediary Liability

Forum or Court: Supreme Court

Case Summary: This Writ Petition was clubbed with the main Petition bearing W.P. (Crl.) No. 167 of 2012, in the landmark case of Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India and Othrs. The Writ Petition was filed by Mouthshut.com, a social networking, user review website which acted as a platform for consumers to express their opinion on goods and services. consumer review website. The Petitioners were aggrieved by the fact that they use to constantly receive threatening calls from police officials from various states in India, demanding them to block comments or content hosted by them on their platform. Moreover, the Petitioners were regularly receiving notices under Section 91 and 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and legal notices from private parties threatening Petitioners with filing of defamation and civil suits in different courts in India. The Petitioners argued that it enjoyed immunity from liability under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and as the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011 stood in conflict with Section 79, the Petitioner challenged the IT (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011 as being ultra vires of the IT Act and of Article 13, 19(1)(a), 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution of India. SFLC provided legal assistance and representation to the Petitioner

Decision/Status: Section 66-A was struck down as being unconstitutional. Section 69-A and the Information technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009 were held to be constitutionally valid. Section 79(3)(b) and Rule 3 sub-rule (4) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011 were read down to mean that an intermediary was only obliged to remove content upon receiving “actual knowledge” from a court order or on being notified by the appropriate government or its agency.

Further Reading: More details about the case can be found here.

Read more

22.09.2020

 
 

Name: Anivar A. Arvind vs. Ministry of Home Affairs (Aarogya Setu) [PIL WP (C) 7483 of 2020]

Issue: Privacy and FOSS

Forum or Court: Karnataka High Court

Case Summary: Aarogya Setu is India’s contact tracing application which was launched in April, 2020. Since its launch, there have been several function creeps in the application. Advisory board member of SFLC.in Mr. Anivar A. Aravind moved to the Karnataka High Court, challenging the de-facto imposition of Aarogya Setu and lack of a specific legislation governing it. He was represented by lawyers from SFLC.in, Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, Advocate Ali Zia Kabir, Advocate Clifton Rozario and Advocate Avani Chokshi.
The prayers for interim relief include that the Union of India must state it on record that Aarogya Setu will not be made mandatory for any services, and that the data collection and processing via Aarogya Setu must be scrapped until the Government brings a specific legislation governing data collection and data processing. The Petitioner has also prayed that all the data shared with third parties must be deleted.

Decision/Status: The case is pending adjudication before the court. On the last date of hearing, the Respondents had been directed to file their response on the mandatory-voluntary nature of the Aarogya Setu app.

Further Reading: A copy of the Petition can be accessed here. Case Updates can be found here

Read more

27.07.2020

 
 

Name: Software Freedom Law Center, India vs. State of West Bengal [W.P. No. 5245 of 2020]

Issue: Internet Shutdown

Forum or Court: Calcutta High Court

Case Summary: SFLC.in filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), challenging the imposition of an internet shutdown which was imposed in Hoogly district in West Bengal on May 12, 2020.
The Petitioner claimed in the Petition that the shutdown was illegal and unconstitutional on the grounds of violation of Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

Decision/Status: The case is pending adjudication and the pleadings of parties have been completed. The case is to be listed for final arguments.

Further Reading: A detailed case note along with the copy of the PIL can be found here

Read more

27.02.2020

 
 

Name: SFLC.in vs. State of West Bengal & Ors. [W.P. No. 3963 of 2020]

Issue: Internet Shutdown

Forum or Court: Calcutta High Court

Case Summary: SFLC.in filed a PIL challenging the suspension of internet services in 7 districts in West Bengal for a few hours during the Madhyamik Pariksha (Secondary Examination), which was reportedly done to prevent leaking and circulation of question papers and other forms of malpractices and cheating during the course of the said examination. The PIL highlighted the point that the students appearing in the exam were all mostly minors and therefore the action of suspension of internet services was unnecessary and unwarranted. (Secondary Examination), which was reportedly done to prevent leaking and circulation of question papers and other forms of malpractices and cheating during the course of the said examination. The PIL highlighted the point that the students appearing in the exam were all mostly minors and therefore the action of suspension of internet services was unnecessary and unwarranted.

Among other reliefs, the PIL prayed for:

  1. A direction for withdrawal of the Order imposing the internet shutdown.
  2. Production of all the Orders which imposed the shutdown.
  3. For issuance a direction to the government to inform the citizens in advance, before suspending telecommunication services.

 

Decision/Status: The Petition is pending adjudication before the Court and the listing has been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Further Reading: News coverage about the internet shutdown can be found here. A copy of the Petition can be found here.

Read more

24.12.2019

 
 

Name: SFLC.in V. Union of India & Ors. [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 13853/2019]

Issue: Internet Shutdown

Forum or Court: Delhi High Court

Case Summary: Delhi witnessed its first ever internet shutdown on 19.12.2019 which was imposed in light of the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
SFLC.IN filed a Writ Petition praying for setting aside the Order imposing the internet shutdown. The Petition argued that the internet shutdown imposed in Delhi was in violation of the provisions of the 2017 rules and that an arbitrary shutdown of internet services adversely affects the citizens and violates their fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression, among other rights. It also pointed out the economic detriments of imposing an internet shutdown.

Decision/Status: The Writ Petition was disposed off, without the Court getting into the merits of the case in relation to the legality of the order passed by the DCP which was done without any statutory authority. The Court also did not provide any proactive remedy for curbing arbitrary imposition of internet shutdowns in Delhi.

Further Reading: A detailed post about the case can be found here

Read more

26.09.2018

 
 

Name: Impleadment Application on behalf of Ms. Maya Saran
Filed in the case of -
Shantha Sinha & Anr. vs. Union of India & Anr. [Writ Petition No. 342 of 2017]
[This case was tagged along with the case of Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Anr. V. Union of India and Others.
Writ Petition (C) No. 494 of 2012]

Issue: Aadhaar, Right to Privacy

Forum or Court: Supreme Court

Case Summary: SFLC.in filed an impleadment application on behalf of the applicant who was a citizen of Canada and a resident of India, who had not enrolled for the Aadhaar project. The Applicant was aggrieved by the forced mandate to enroll for Aadhaar and the authentication by private enterprises. The application also pointed out that biometric technologies were neither secure nor infallible and by rolling out the technology, the entire population of India had been subjected to risks of identity theft and misuse.
The Applicant prayed for impleadment as a respondent in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 342 of 2017 - Shantha Sinha & Anr. vs. Union of India & Anr. The said Writ Petition had been filed seeking a direction to declare various sections of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 as null and void and the case was clubbed with the Writ Petition (Civil) No. 494 of 2012 - Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Anr. vs. Union of India and Others.
The Applicant also prayed for the issuance of an Order against the Respondents to give out a clarification to all entities using Aadhaar for authentication and verification, regarding exemption from mandatory use of Aadhaar for the Applicant since she was a foreign citizen and for a direction to all such entities to ensure the availability of a convenient alternative method for verification for the Applicant.

Decision/Status: The cIn its much awaited judgment, the majority view upheld the constitutionality of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, barring a few provisions on disclosure of personal information, cognizance of offences and use of the Aadhaar ecosystem by private corporations. DY Chandrachud J. delivered a dissenting opinion debasing the entire Aadhaar scheme along with the Act.

Further Reading: A copy of the Judgment can be found here .
SFLC.in’s coverage of the hearings before the Supreme Court in the Aadhaar case can be found here.
A post containing a detailed summary of the Aadhaar judgment can be found here

Read more

24.09.2019

 
 

Name: Google LLC vs. Commission Nationale De L’informatique et des libertes (CNIL) [Case C-507/17]

Issue: Personal Data protection, Right to be forgotten

Forum or Court: Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)

Case Summary: In 2014, the French Data Protection Authority, the CNIL (Commission Nationale de L’Informatique et des Libertés) ordered Google to remove 21 links from a set of results of an internet search in respect of the name of a French citizen who claimed a “right to be forgotten”. Google removed the links from its French search site and other European search sites but CNIL demanded that it go further, stating that when it orders content to be “forgotten” from search results, the decision must be given effect globally and the results must be unavailable to all the users around the world, regardless of the place from which they are accessing internet search engines. CNIL also imposed a fine of € 100,000 on Google.
The case was referred to the CJEU by the Conseil d’Etat in France, after Google refused to de-reference information from jurisdictions beyond the European Union as it had been ordered to do by the CNIL.
SFLC.in along with 17 other civil society organizations from around the world had intervened in this matter. The Written Observations highlighted serious concerns about CNIL’s approach and its implications on human rights worldwide. It also submitted that the Right to be de-listed (“RTBD”) must be interpreted in line with the strict proportionality test and in a manner which is strictly necessary to achieve the protection of the rights of the individual seeking the RTBD. It further proposed that due regard must be had to the fundamental importance of freedom of expression and access to information online and across borders.

Decision/Status: The Court held that search engines who have been requested for de-referencing links under the right to be forgotten, are not obliged to perform the de-referencing from all (global) versions of its service.
CJEU stated that a number of countries around the world either do not recognize the Right to be Forgotten (RTBF) or have different approaches to it. The Court referred to GDPR and stated that the protection of personal data was not an absolute right and it had to be counterbalanced with other rights such as the right to freedom of information of internet users as per the principle of proportionality.

Further Reading: Details about the case can be found here

Read more

19.09.2019

 
 

Name: Fahima Shireen vs. State of Kerala [I.A. No. 1/19 in W.P. (C) No. 19716/2019]

Issue: Internet Rights

Forum or Court: Kerala High Court

Case Summary: An undergraduate student in Kerala filed a Writ Petition before the Court against hostel rules which were discriminatory against female residents. The hostel rules prohibited the usage of mobile phones between 6pm to 10pm for residents of girls’ hostel. Moreover, undergraduate students were not allowed to use laptops in hostel premises. The Petitioner had also been expelled from the college hostel for using the mobile phone beyond the restricted hours.
The Petition claimed that the rule was in contravention of Article 14 and 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India.
SFLC.in filed an impleadment application in this case, raising the importance of internet and use of digital resources to learn and communicate.

Decision/Status :The Court held that the right to access the internet is a part of the fundamental right to education as well as the right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution. The Court also ordered the Principal of the college in question to re-admit the Petitioner who had been expelled from the college hostel.

Further Reading :A detailed post about the case along with a copy of the judgment can be found here

Read more

28.06.2017

 
 

Name: Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc. [SCC 34, (2017) 1 S.C.R. 824]

Issue: Global content take down

Forum or Court: Supreme Court of Canada

Case Summary: Google was asked to de-index listings for protection of trade secret rights of a subject from its global versions but it refused to do so.
SFLC.in had filed an intervention in this case.

Decision/Status: The court ruled against Google and directed the company for a global takedown which required the search engine to de-index the listings from its global versions.

Further Reading Text of the judgment can be found here

Read more

Read less

24.03.2015

 
 

Name: Mouthshut vs. Union of India [W.P. (C) No. 217 of 2013]
[Tagged along with Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India W.P. (Crl.) No. 167 of 2012]

Issue: Intermediary Liability

Forum or Court: Supreme Court

Case Summary: This Writ Petition was clubbed with the main Petition bearing W.P. (Crl.) No. 167 of 2012, in the landmark case of Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India and Others.
The Writ Petition was filed by Mouthshut.com, a social networking, user review website which acts as a platform for consumers to express their opinion on goods and services.
The Petitioners were aggrieved by the fact that they use to constantly receive threatening calls from police officials from various states in India, demanding them to block comments or content hosted by them on their platform. Moreover, the Petitioners were regularly receiving notices under Section 91 and 160 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and legal notices from private parties, threatening the Petitioners with filing of defamation and civil suits in different courts in India.
The Petitioners argued that it enjoyed immunity from liability under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and as the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011 stood in conflict with Section 79, the Petitioner challenged the IT (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011 as being ultra vires of the IT Act and of Article 13, 19(1)(a), 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution of India.
SFLC.in provided legal assistance and representation to the Petitioner

Decision/Status: Section 66-A was struck down as being unconstitutional.
Section 69-A and the Information technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009 were held to be constitutionally valid.
Section 79(3)(b) and Rule 3 sub-rule (4) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011 were read down to mean that an intermediary was only obliged to remove content upon receiving “actual knowledge” from a court order or on being notified by the appropriate government or its agency.

Further Reading: More details about the case can be found here
A copy of the judgment can be found here

Read more

Read less

May-22

 
 
Act : IT Rules 2021

Name of the provision : Rule 4, 7, 8

Instant : Constitutional Challenge to the IT Rules

Court/state/FIR details : Supreme Court

Current status : Posted to 19 July 2022
 

Brief Facts : Multiple petitions challenging the validity of Information Technology Rules on Intermediary Liability were filed across different HCs including Delhi, Kerala, Mumbai etc. A petition was then filed by the Center to the Supreme Court to hear all the petitions together. On 9th May the SC retrained all the High Courts from hearing the matters further. The center has now challenged the interim orders issued by the High Courts.

Summary : The SC posted the matter to 19th July.

Link : Link
 

Read more

May-22

 
 
Act : Indian Telegraph Act, 1885

Name of the provision : Section 5

Instant : Internet shutdowns in Udaipur

Court/state/FIR details : Rajasthan HC

Current status : Plea admitted and notice issued
 

Brief Facts : The petition has been filed by the Udaipur Chambers for Commerce and Industry because of the internet shutdowns imposed by the Rajasthan government. It is stated in the petition that these shutdowns are arbitrary and contrary to the law.

Summary : The court has amitted the petition.

Link : Link
 

Read more

Apr-22

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code

Name of the provision : Section 153B and 505(2)

Instant : FIR against the Wire’s founder and journalist for a tweet.- Siddharth Varadarajan And Another v. State Of U.P.

Court/state/FIR details : Allahbad HC

Current status : Next hearing on 2 May 2022
 

Brief Facts : An FIR was filed against the founder of The WireSiddharth Varadarajan and journalist Ismat Ara for posting a report on the death of protestor in Delhi during Republic Day riots. It was alleged that the tweet was posted to misreport incidents and incite violence. Following this a plea was filed before the HC to quash the FIR.

Summary : The court issued notice to the complainants and granted interim protection to any coercive action against the petitioners.

Link : Link
 

Read more

Apr-22

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code

Name of the provision : Section 153A

Instant : Tweet by Jignesh Mevani against the Prime Minister

Court/state/FIR details : Kokrajhar Court

Current status : Bail granted
 

Brief Facts : A tweet was made by Jignesh Mevani criticising the Prime Minister. Due to which an FIR was filed against him in Assam. He was then arrested by Assam Police in Gujarat and taken to Assam.

Summary : NA

Link : Link
 

Read more

Apr-22

 
 
Act : Constitution of India

Name of the provision : Article 19(1)(a)

Instant : Blocking of Sanjay Hegde’s account

Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC

Current status : NA
 

Brief Facts : Sanjay Hegde’s twitter account was blocked in 2019 for posting “hateful imagery”. It was an image of August Landmesser wherein he refused to the Nazi salute at a rally, when everybody around him was doing it; a picture Hegde claims has been up for several months as his cover photo. Later, after there was alot of agitation on twitter for such an action his account was restored. However, it was blocked again after a day for sharing a poem titled “hang him”. A writ petition was then filed by Hegde under Article 226 against twitter.

Summary : NA

Link : Link
 

Read more

Mar-22

 
 
Act : IT Intermediary Guidelines

Name of the provision : Rule 4(8)

Instant : Blocking of accounts by twitter.

Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC

Current status : Next hearing on 18 April
 

Brief Facts : Petitions were filed challenging action of micro-blogging platform Twitter to permanently suspend user accounts namely "wokeflix" "MeghBulletin" and others.

Summary : NA

Link : Link
 

Read more

Mar-22

 
 
Act : IPC

Name of the provision : 153A, 295 S. 66A, 67

Instant : The ‘Tandav’ Controversy Aparna Purohit v. State of UP and Anr. CR.P.C. No. - 1794 of 2021 [update on previous entry]

Court/state/FIR details : Allahabad HC

Current status : Anticipatory bail granted.
 

Brief Facts : Ms. Purohit is Amazon Prime Video’s India Head, which came out with the controversial TV series Tandav. The show was alleged to have depicted Hindu gods in a poor light, for which she was booked under offences relating to cyber terrorism and transmitting obscene content under the IT Act, and for promoting inter-group enmity and religious hatred under the IPC. Previously in Feb 2021, she had been denied anticipatory bail by the High Court on grounds that, similar to the Munawar Farooqui incident, the ‘liberal tradition’ of India was abused by such people to hurt the religious sentiments of the majority religious community. Later, the High Court had ordered the State government against taking any coercive action against Ms. Purohit. Subsequently this order was also extended.

Summary : The HC granted final anticipatory bail.

Link : Link
 

Read more

Mar-22

 
 
Act : IT Act-Intermediary Guidelines 2021

Name of the provision : Rule 4

Instant : Blocking of Twitter account

Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC

Current status : Next hearing on 6 September 2022
 

Brief Facts : A petition is filed against a twitter account called “Atheist Republic” for posting content which is derogatory to Hindu gods. The court has asked twitter to file an affidavit on its policy for blocking of accounts.

Summary : The court observed that there is are multiple repeated instances of the said account posting material which is derogatory to Hindu gods and goddesses.

Link : Link
 

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1998
Name of the provision : NA
Instant : Madhyamam Broadcasting Limited v. Union of India
Court/state/FIR details : Kerala HC
Current status : Not Provided
Brief Facts : An appeal was filed by news channel MediaOne against the single bench order which upheld the validity of the suspension of the news channel by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The petition was filed after the Ministry revoked the license of the channel under the Act. The single bench had found that after analysing the material placed before it, intelligence inputs justifying the ban were found.
Summary : The court upheld the ban imposed by the government and observed that there is material to show threat to national security.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Cinematograph Act, 1952
Name of the provision : Section 5B
Instant : Change title of the Film “Prithviraj”
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Petition withdrawn
Brief Facts : A PIL was filed at Delhi HC to seek change of title of the Film Prithviraj. The plea averred that the film is based on a "great warrior". However, its name is not reflective of the same. Further, that section 5B of the Act states that the title of the film cannot be indecent or defamatory.
Summary : The petition was withdrawn.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Constitution of India, Right to Information Act, 2005
Name of the provision : Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India, Section 6(2), 7(9) and 22 of the RTI Act
Instant : Validity of Jharkhand HC RTI Rules
Court/state/FIR details : Jharkhand HC
Current status : Petition has been admitted and notice issued
Brief Facts : The petition is filed to challenge the validity of Rule 9(a)(i) and (b) of the Jharkhand High Court (Right to Information) Rules, 2007 which puts vague conditions for supply of the information. The Rule requires the applicant to provide a positive assertion that the information is being sought for a proper and legal motive.
Summary : The petition has been admitted by the court.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000
Name of the provision : Section 79
Instant : FACEBOOK, INC. Vs. SWAMI RAMDEV & ORS
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Matter listed for 21 March 2022
Brief Facts : A global injunction was issued by single judge bench case filed by Baba Ramdev alleging that various defamatory remarks, based on a book titled "Godman to Tycoon – the Untold Story of Baba Ramdev" are being disseminated over Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Subsequently, a bunch of appeals were filed by intermediaries such as Google, Facebook challenging the order. The main contention in the petition is that the impugned order
Summary : Not Provided
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code
Name of the provision : Section 153A, 504, 505(2), 506
Instant : Contempt of Court
Court/state/FIR details : Andhara Pradesh HC
Current status : Bail granted
Brief Facts : Suo Moto contempt notices were issued to 49 persons by the AP HC for abusive social media posts. Following which the bail applications were filed.
Summary : The court granted bail to advocate applicants and denied bail to a software engineer. While granting bail the court observed that the lawyers had rendered unconditional apologies. However, while denying bail to the engineer the court observed that the post made by him was of serious nature and got the effect of bringing down the image of the judiciary.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : IPC and SC/ST Act 1989
Name of the provision : Section 153 A (promoting enmity) and 153B (assertions prejudicial to national-integration) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 18-A(b) of the SC/ST Act
Instant : Yuvraj Singh vs. State of Haryana and another [update on a previous entry]
Court/state/FIR details : P&H HC
Current status : FIR not quashed
Brief Facts : FIR was filed against Yuvraj Singh for using the word Bhangi in a social media post. He was granted an anticipatory bail in the matter. A petition was filed for quashing of the FIR.
Summary : The court partially granted the relief and quashed the charges under section 153A and 153B of the IPC. It was observed by the court that the ingredients for the offence under the sections 153A and 153B are not met. However, for the offences under the SC/ST act, the court observed that the word “Bhangi” is used to notify scheduled castes. Therefore, constituting an offence under section 2 of the SC/ST act.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000 and Indian Penal Code
Name of the provision : Section 67 of IT Act and Section 500 of IPC
Instant : Sharing of Morphed Images of Public Authorities [Niyaz Ahmad Khan v. State of U.P. and Another]
Court/state/FIR details : Allahabad HC
Current status : Chargesheet not quashed
Brief Facts : Criminal proceedings were initiated against Niyaz Ahmad for sharing some morphed photos of the Prime Minister and Home Minister. The photos show the PM shaking hands with a terrorist Hafiz Saeed and PM feeding biscuits to dogs who are shown as news channels.
Summary : The court refused to quash the proceedings on the grounds that considering the allegations made and a prima facie case being made the proceedings cannot be quashed.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : NA
Name of the provision : NA
Instant : PIL to stay the streaming of the movie “Why I killed Gandhi”
Court/state/FIR details : Allahabad HC
Current status : Petition filed
Brief Facts : A short film titled “Why I killed Gandhi” was released on an OTT platform called Limelight on 30th January. The PIL alleges that the movie tarnishes the image of Mahatma Gandhi and the dialogues are objectionable. A similar plea was filed in the Supreme Court of India and was rejected.
Summary : The petition has been filed.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Tort Law
Name of the provision : Civil Defamation
Instant : DR. VIKRAM SAMPATH v. DR. AUDREY TRUSCHKE & ORS
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Not Provided
Brief Facts : The Royal Historical Society wrote tweets against historian Vikram Sampath making plagiarism allegations against him. A suit was filed by Vikram against the Society seeking a decree of permanent injunction to prohibit the Society from publishing any defamatory material and 2 crore in Damages.
Summary : The court ordered Twitter to take down the tweets posted by the society and prohibited them from publishing any defamatory material.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983
Name of the provision : Rule 32
Instant : Stay on the movie “Gangubai Kathiawadi”- Hiten Dhirajlal Mehta vs Bhansali Productions- 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 50
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : Not Provided
Brief Facts : A bunch of petitions were filed against the release of the movie Gangubai Kathiawadi. It was pleaded that the movie shows Kathiawadi community and Kamathipura locality in a bad light and casts a stigma on it.
Summary : The court refused to provide any of the reliefs sought on the grounds that the petitioners failed to exhaust the other alternative remedies which are more efficacious.- The court held that even if the court forms a view on the matter, it is impermissible to interfere with the certificate unless the certificate is challenged before the CBFC. Additionally, the court held that there is no evidence which shows that the certificate was issued without adhering to any Rules or Guidelines.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code
Name of the provision : Section 295A
Instant : Posting of obscene pictures of Lord Krishna [Nanu Kumar v. State Of Haryana and Others ]
Court/state/FIR details : Punjab and Haryana HC
Current status : FIR not quashed
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed against Nanu Kumar for intentionally hurting sentiments of Hindus by posting obscene pictures of Lord Krishna. Therefore, an appeal was filed with the HC to quash the FIR.
Summary : The court refused to quash the FIR on the grounds that the offence was of serious nature and involved larger public interest. Further, the power under section 428 of CrPC must be used sparingly.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code
Name of the provision : Sections 353 (obstructing public servant from discharging duty), 332 (causing hurt to public servant), 427 (mischief causing damage), 109 (abetment) and 114 (abettor present when offence committed), 143, 145, 146, 149 for unlawful assembly and rioting.
Instant : Bail petition filed by social media influencer Vikas Pathak
Court/state/FIR details : Additional Sessions Judge, Mumbai
Current status : Bail Granted
Brief Facts : Vikar Pathak also known as Hindustani Bhau was arrested after he allegedly instigated students to protest against the government’s decision to conduct offline exams during the third wave of pandemic. Subsequent to the instigation, there was a huge protest which eventually turned into a riot.
Summary : The court granted him bail after he rendered an unconditional apology.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Constitution of India and Tort Law
Name of the provision : Article 19(1)(a) and Civil Defamation
Instant : FIITJEE LIMITED v. VIDYA MANDIR CLASSES LTD. & ORS.- 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 121
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Interim relief of injunction granted
Brief Facts : A petition was filed by the FIITJEE Limited for seeking an ex parte injunction for taking down defamatory and scandalous YouTube Video.
Summary : The court ordered for removal of video from YouTube. The court, observed that malicious falsehood cannot become freedom of speech. A level of care is to be exercised in order to avoid disparagement of another's products or denigration of the goodwill and reputation built by a competitor while engaging in advertising one's own products. - The court observed that the language used by the defendants in the video, such as kidnapping and extortion, is ex facie untrue. Further, the court applied the Bonnard test for the application of plea of justification. It observed that the interim injunction should be awarded only if it is certain that the plea of justification is bound to fail at the trial stage. However, the balance of convenience of was in the favour of defendant as no harm would be caused to the plaintiff if the video remained, that cannot be compensated through award of damages.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code
Name of the provision : Section 499 and 500 [Criminal Defamation]
Instant : Criminal Defamation against AAP Leaders [Chhail Bihari Goswami Vs. Satyendra Jain & Ors.]
Court/state/FIR details : Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate
Current status : Summons sent for filing PF on 14 March 2022.
Brief Facts : A complaint was filed by the BJP leaders against AAP leaders stating that the accused persons made misleading remarks to the general public and attempted to create negative image of the BJP leaders in order to win the upcoming Municipal Elections.
Summary : The court observed that there is a prima facie case against the accused persons and issued the summons.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Constitution of India
Name of the provision : NA
Instant : Use of loudspeakers by religious places
Court/state/FIR details : Gujarat HC
Current status : Notice issued; returnable on 10 March 2022
Brief Facts : A petition has been filed by a Doctor in Gandhinagar against use of loudspeakers by mosque. It is averred that use of loudspeaker causes great inconvenience and disturbance.
Summary : The petition has been admitted and notice has been issued.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021
Name of the provision : Rule 4(8) [Procedure for Significant Social Media Intermediary for removal of content]
Instant : Removal of two youtube channels [RACHIT KAUSHIK v. UNION OF INDIA & ANR]
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Notice issued; Next hearing on 30 March 2022
Brief Facts : YouTube channels named “Sabloktantra” and “Truth and Dare” were removed from the platform for allegedly violating community guidelines on Hate Speech. The petition contends that no fair opportunity was given to the user as per section Rule 4(8) before his channels were removed.
Summary : The court admitted the petition and issued notice.
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Tort Law
Name of the provision : Civil Defamation
Instant : PFI v. TIMES GLOBAL BROADCASTING CO LTD. (TIMES NOW) AND ORS.
Court/state/FIR details : Civil Judge, Delhi
Current status : Summons sent
Brief Facts : A civil defamation suit was filed by Popular Front of Indian against Times Now channel for publishing false news which alleged that an officer of PFI was arrested for alleged murder of an RSS worker. Further, the news was then circulated on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Summary : Summons sent
Link : Link

Read more

Feb-22

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code and UAPA
Name of the provision : Sections 124A (sedition), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, etc.), 153B (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief) of the IPC and Section 13 (Punishment for unlawful activities) of the UAPA.
Instant : State v. Sharjeel Imam [update on a previous entry]
Court/state/FIR details : Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi
Current status : Charges Framed
Brief Facts : Imam was arrested in January 2021 in relation to ant CAA speeches made by him at AMU and Jamia area. He was denied bail in the matter on 24th January 2022. In the sedition matter charges were framed against him on 24th January.
Summary : The court made the following observations when framing charges against Imam: First, prima facie there is a case to misguide masses on the grounds of religion. Second, the speech appears to challenge the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country. Third, there appears to be a tendency to create public disorder.
Link : Link

Read more

Jan-22

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act, 2000
Name of the provision : Sections 201, 504, 505 of IPC and 66, 67(c) of IT Act.
Instant : Bail application for making a post against former Chief Justice of India.
Court/state/FIR details : Bihar Court
Current status : Bail denied
Brief Facts : Patna HC had directed to register FIR against an advocate for making abusive posts against the former CJI and Jharkhand HC. Subsequently, he was arrested and the current bail application was filed.
Summary : The court observed that the accused had consistently used abusive language against the Court, Union Law minister and other members of the Parliament. Further, he attempted to delete the posts to cause disappearance of the evidence. Additionally the court observed that any erosion of trust of public in the highest institutions would invite breach of public tranquillity and unprecedented rebellion.
Link : Link

Read more

Jan-22

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code
Name of the provision : Section 259 A
Instant : Fr P. George Ponniah versus The Inspector of Police - 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 6
Court/state/FIR details : Madras HC
Current status : FIR not quashed
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed against a catholic priest for making allegedly derogatory and provocative remarks on July 2018, 2021 in a meeting convened to pay homage to Father Stan Swamy. The speech became viral in social media which ultimately led to the registration of FIR. The Priest then approached the court to quash the criminal proceeding.
Summary : The court observed that remarks against “Bharat Mata” and “Bhuma Devi” attract the offence of hurting religious feelings. An attack on the religious beliefs of any class of citizens constitutes an offence under section 295A. Thus, the criminal complaint was not quashed.
Link : Link

Read more

Jan-22

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code
Name of the provision : Section 499 and 500
Instant : MAHUA MOITRA Vs. STATE OF NCT OF DELHI & ANR.
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Court has asked to place material on record.
Brief Facts : A criminal defamation complaint was filed against Mahua Moitra in 2019 by Zee Media for calling them a “thief” in a speech. Following which summons were issued by the court. Mahua has filed a petition to quash the summons so issued.
Summary : The court has asked the petitioner to place on record the video of the speech.
Link : Link

Read more

Jan-22

 
 
Act : Constitution of India
Name of the provision : Articles 14, 19 and 21
Instant : Aarti Tikoo v. UOI & Anr.
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Court has issued notice to Twitter and the union government.
Brief Facts : Aarti Tikoo, founder of “The New Indian”, twitter account was locked for making a post which stated: “My brother who lives in Srinagar, being openly threatened by jihadi terrorists sitting in Kashmir-India & their handlers in Pakistan, UK & US. Is anyone watching? Are we sitting ducks waiting to be shot dead by Islamists or will you crackdown on them?"
Summary : The court has issued summons.
Link : Link

Read more

Jan-22

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code
Name of the provision : Section 499 and 500 [Criminal Defamation]
Instant : MJ Akbar v. Priya Ramani
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Appeal admitted
Brief Facts : A criminal defamation complaint was filed by MJ Akbar against Priya Ramani for the #Metoo allegations. The complaint was filed in 2018 and she was eventually acquitted. An appeal was then filed by MJ Akbar against the acquittal.
Summary : The court admitted the appeal.
Link : Link

Read more

Jan-22

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act, 2000
Name of the provision : Section 501 of IPC and section 66 of the IT Act
Instant : Arun Kumar Jaiswal v. State of U.P. and Another
Court/state/FIR details : Allahbad HC
Current status : Complaint not quashed
Brief Facts : An appeal was filed by the Arun Kumar against a complain filed against him on for a Facebook post which allegedly tarnished the image of Deputy CM of Uttar Pradesh.
Summary : The court refused to quash the complaint.
Link : Link

Read more

Jan-22

 
 
Act : Tort Law
Name of the provision : Civil Defamation
Instant : Defamation against Ketan Kakkad
Court/state/FIR details : City Civil Court Mumbai
Current status : Suit Filed
Brief Facts : Salman Khan filed a civil Defamation suit against Ketan Kakkad for posting derogatory remarks related to Salman Khan in relation to a property dispute. Further, the suit is filed against Facebook, Twitter, YouTube to take down the derogatory content.
Summary : NA
Link : Link

Read more

Jan-22

 
 
Act : Tort Law
Name of the provision : Civil Defamation
Instant : Defamation case against Javed Akhtar
Court/state/FIR details : Joint Civil Judge Senior Division Thane
Current status : Petition Filed
Brief Facts : A civil defamation suit was filed against Javed Akhtar by RSS for making remarks against RSS on television interview. In the interview Akhtar compared RSS to Taliban.
Summary : NA
Link : Link

Read more

Dec-21

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code
Name of the provision : Sections 120B, 122, 505(1)(b) and 507.
Instant : Facebook Post- Mathivanan v. Inspector of Police & Ors.
Court/state/FIR details : Madras HC
Current status : Not Provided
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed against a person for making a funny post on Facebook captioned “Trip to Sirumalai for shooting practice”. The matter came before the court when police appealed a Judicial Magistrate’s decision to not allow remand of the accused.
Summary : NA
Link : Link

Read more

Dec-21

 
 
Act : Tort
Name of the provision : Not Provided
Instant : QAMAR HASNAIN v. SYED WASEEM RIZVI & ORS
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Not Provided
Brief Facts : A permanent injunction suit was filed against a book titled “Muhammad” written by Waseem Rizvi. It was alleged in the suit that the book makes demeaning statements related to prophet Mohammed and Quran. The petitioner also asked for damages over Rs. 2 Crore to prevent Waseem Rizvi from committing similar acts in future.
Summary : The court dismissed the suit on the ground that hurt to personal religious sentiments is not an actionable wrong under tort law.
Link : Not Provided

Read more

Dec-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 505 and 153
Instant : Social media posts related to death of Chief of Defence Staff
Court/state/FIR details : NA
Current status : Arrests made
Brief Facts : After the death of chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat certain posts were made. At least 8 people were arrested and 2 booked and one suspended from government job in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan.

Summary : NA

Link : Link

Read more

Dec-2021

 
 
Act : Tort
Name of the provision : Civil Defamation
Instant : Defamation case against Nawab Malik, Minorities Development Minister, Maharashtra [update on previous entry]
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : NA
Brief Facts : On 22 November, the single bench before which the civil defamation suit was filed refused to pass the ad interim relief restraining Malik from passing any statement against Sameer Wankhede and his family. However, Dnyandeo then approached the division bench and a relief was passed on 25 November. Despite the undertaking given by Nawab Malik that he shall not pass a statement related to the Wankhede family, he made certain statements. Pursuant to that Dnyandeo approached the court.

Summary : The court observed that the defendant had prima facie "wilfully breached" his undertaking to the court, and sought an affidavit explaining his stand. Subsequent to that the defendant filed an undertaking in the court he will refrain from making such comments and also tendered an unconditional apology.

Link : Link

Read more

Dec-2021

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000
Name of the provision : Section 79 (Intermediary Liability)
Instant : Blocking of defamatory against Sameer Wankhede content shown on Google, Facebook/Meta and Twitter
Court/state/FIR details : City Civil Court at Dindoshi
Current status : Next hearing on 17 December 2021
Brief Facts : A suit was filed by Sameer Wankhede an NCB officer and his wife for a permanent injunction against intermediaries- Google, Facebook and Twitter. In their petition it is alleged that these are being used as medium for spreading “sponsored information by unscrupulous elements”. That these platforms have failed to take action against such content, and abdicated from their social and moral responsibility and are using such content to generate more revenue.

Summary : The court gave the petitioners time to implead defendants’ parent companies.

Link : Link

Read more

Dec-2021

 
 
Act : Tort
Name of the provision : Permanent Injunction against movie titled Kaduva for being defamatory
Instant : Jose Kuruvinakkunnel v. Jinu Varghese Abraham & Ors
Court/state/FIR details : Second Additional Sub Judge of Ernakulam
Current status : Ad interim relief granted
Brief Facts : The plaintiff's family 'Kuruvinakkunnel' is a well known family in Pala and the movie is based on this family, however, it is alleged that there are certain events depicted in the movie which are false and defamatory in nature. Thereby a petition was filed to stop release of the movie as it will harm the reputation of the family.

Summary : The court granted interim injunction and observed that as the plaintiff has satisfied the three tests of granting an interim injunction, the filmmakers restrained from publishing the screenplay of the movie, or even releasing the movie in full or in parts including trailers, teasers or songs in theatres or any other media.

Link : Link

Read more

Dec-2021

 
 
Act : NA
Name of the provision : NA
Instant : Peggy Fen v. Central Board of Film Certification & Ors.
Court/state/FIR details : Kerala HC
Current status : Petition admitted
Brief Facts : A petition has been filed to take off malayalam movie titled “Churuli” from SonyLiv app and OTT platform, for using foul language. It is alleged that excessive use of foul language will result in breach of public morality and tranquillity.

Summary : In the oral remarks Justice N Nagaresh stated that the dialogues used are atrocious and issued notice to the respondents.

Link : Link

Read more

Dec-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 505, 500 and 501
Instant : Criminal Defamation case for tweets against Nawab Malik
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : Anticipatory Bail granted
Brief Facts : A tweet was made by the petitioner against Nawab Malik stating that a man arrested in the Dwarka Gujrat Drug Haul was an alleged aide of the minister's. It was alleged that the speech was made to create animosity between political groups.

Summary : The court granted anticipatory bail to the petitioner, however, admonished him for his tweets.

Link : Link

Read more

Dec-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 500
Instant : Criminal Defamation against BJP leaders
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Next Hearing 8 December 2021
Brief Facts : The petition has been filed to quash the summon order by a civil court in relation to a defamation case against 4 BJP leaders filed by the Delhi Jal board for making false statements related to a scam worth 26,000 Cr INR.

Summary : The petition is yet to be admitted.

Link : Link

Read more

Dec-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and IT Act
Name of the provision : Section 153 A, 504, 505(2) and 506 of IPC and Section 67 of IT Act
Instant : Contemptuous posts against courts
Court/state/FIR details : Allahbad HC
Current status : Bail denied
Brief Facts : In 2020 the CJ of Allahbad HC issued suo motu contempt notice against 49 individuals for posting abusive and insulting posts on social media and issued a CBI investigation in the same matter. In October 2021 the petitioners were detained by the CBI.

Summary : The court denied bail to the petitioners on the ground that that using social media against judges might be viewed as a conspiracy and attack on the entire institution. In addition they stated that the accusations made against the judges was aimed at scandalizing the courts.

Link : Link

Read more

Dec-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and IT Act
Name of the provision : Section 124 A, 153 A, 505 of IPC and 66-F (cyber terrorism) of IT Act
Instant : Sedition case for celebrating Pakistan Victory in a cricket match
Court/state/FIR details : Allahbad HC
Current status : NA
Brief Facts : Three Kashmiri students were arrested on 27th October 2021 for sending messages on WhatsApp and celebrating Pakistan’s victory in a T20 Cricket match. They are studying in an Engineering college in Agra. They have applied for bail to Allahbad HC as the entire Agra Bar is refusing to appear on their behalf. They have also requested to transfer their case to Mahura for the same reason.

Summary : The court is to hear the matter.

Link : Link

Read more

Nov-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 153, 153 A, 499, 500, 503, 504 and 505
Instant : Criminal complaint against movie “Jai Bhim”
Court/state/FIR details : Second Judicial Magistrate, Chidambaram Dist.
Current status : NA
Brief Facts : A criminal complaint is filed against the makers, actors and producer of the film “Jai Bhim” for defaming and showing Vanniyar community in poor light. The petition has been filed by Vanniyar Sangam.

Summary : NA

Link : Link

Read more

Nov-2021

 
 
Act : Copyright Act, 1957
Name of the provision : Sections 51 (infringement of Copyright) and 52 (exceptions to infringement)
Instant : Copyright Infringement and Defamation suit filed against News Laundry by TV Today [TV Today Network Pvt Ltd v. Newslaundry & ORS. ]
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : NA
Brief Facts : Update on a previous entry. TV Today filed a copyright infringement suit against Newslaundry.

Summary : The court observed that a Parody has to be creative and the video made by the defendants is in poor taste and directed them to remove the same.

Link : Link

Read more

Oct-2021

 
 
Act : NA
Name of the provision : NA
Instant : Sri Nand Lal Tewari v. State of West Bengal
Court/state/FIR details : Calcutta HC
Current status : 2-Nov-21
Brief Facts : Around 350 resident doctors and students, at RG Kar Medical College Hospital, have been protesting over a range of demands- reinstatement of the RGKMC union, a transparent hostel council and more hostel beds for female resident doctors. They have also demanded the resignation of the college's principal Sandeep Ghosh. Due to the protest the medical services at the hospital have been disrupted. Thus, the petition was filed.

Summary : The bench has requested the Health Secretary to meet the representatives of the protestors, at the office of the Health Secretary.

Link : Link

Read more

Oct-2021

 
 
Act : Maharashtra Prison (facilities to Prisoners) Rule, 1962
Name of the provision : Section 17(10)
Instant : Vernon Gonsalves and Anand Teltumbde’s Letters withheld.
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : NA
Brief Facts : A petition was filed by wives of Anand Teltumbde and Vernon Gonsalves, who have been in prison since 2020 for Bhima Koregao, on the grounds that their letters are being withheld by the prison authorities. Whereas, NIA has argued that these letters contents were objectionable as they alleged planting of evidence on computer. It was also contended by NIA that Teltumbde wrote an article "Economic Goals Cannot Disavow Constitutional Vision: Anand Teltumbde Writes From Prison," from prison which is “restricted activity”.

Summary : NA

Link : Link

Read more

Oct-2021

 
 
Act : UAPA
Name of the provision : Section 43D
Instant : Bail application of Anand Teltumbde [update on a previous entry]
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : Two weeks granted to NIA to file a response
Brief Facts : Anand Teltumbde was arrested in April 2020, in relation to Bhima Koregao case. In August 2021, his bail petition was rejected by the NIA Special Court. He has now filed an appeal petition against that order and has also filed a petition challenging the constitutional validity of section 43D of UAPA.

Summary : Court has given time to NIA to file a response.

Link : Link

Read more

Oct-2021

 
 
Act : NA
Name of the provision : NA
Instant : Anticipatory Bail Application
Court/state/FIR details : Gauhati HC
Current status : 11-Nov-21
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed against editor of magazine “Nadini” on the ground that the magazine published a symbolic image of Goddess Durga in a distorted manner which hurt the sentiments of Hindus. The editor has filed a petition

Summary : Court has allowed interim protection to the petitioners, that if they are arrested they shall be released on furnishing surety money.

Link : Link

Read more

Oct-2021

 
 
Act : NA
Name of the provision : NA
Instant : Injunction against release of film “Faraaz” [RUBA AHMED & ANR. v. HANSAL MEHTA & ORS.]
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Summons issued to the Filmmaker; Next hearing 28th October 2021
Brief Facts : Faraaz a film made by Hansal Mehta is based on the terrorist attack that happened on 1st July 2016 in Holey Artisan, Dhaka, Bangladesh. A petition has been filed by the parents of two girls who died in those attacks for. As an itnerim relief they seek to preview the movie to ascertain that their daughters are not shown in a poor light in the movie. It is contended that showing their daughters in the movie will be violation of their right to privacy.

Summary : Court has issued summons.

Link : Link

Read more

Oct-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 153A, 506 and 34
Instant : West Bengal Pandal Matter [Santanu Singha @ Santanu Sinha v. State of West Bengal & Ors.]
Court/state/FIR details : Calcutta HC
Current status : 25th October 2021
Brief Facts : Slippers were put on display at Dum Dum Park, Bharat Chakra Club to show their support to farmers protest. An FIR was then filed against the club for hurting religious sentiments. This petition has been filed for a relief of removing shoes from there.

Summary : The court observed that it was not inclined to pass any order on the application for removal of the shoes, since, as per court, such an order may amount to grant of the final relief.

Link : Link

Read more

Oct-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and SC/ST Act 1989
Name of the provision : Section 153 A (promoting enmity) and 153B (assertions prejudicial to national-integration) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 18-A(b) of the SC/ST Act
Instant : Yuvraj Singh vs. State of Haryana and another
Court/state/FIR details : P&H HC
Current status : Interim Relief granted
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed against Yuvraj Singh for allegedly making a Casteist remark. On 15 September court had directed that no coercive steps be taken against him. Later the SP herself sought only "formal arrest" of Singh in terms of Section 18-A(b) of the SC/ST Act.

Summary : The court modified the earlier interim order and observed that to the extent that the petitioner, upon joining investigation with the investigating officer, if he is sought to be arrested, would be released on interim bail, upon furnishing bail and surety bonds to his satisfaction, till the next date of hearing before this court

Link : Link

Read more

Oct-2021

 
 
Act : NA
Name of the provision : NA
Instant : Plea regarding blocking pornographic websites
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : 8-Nov-21
Brief Facts : A petition has been filed by a woman to take down or block any nude, sexually explicit or morphed photos of the woman appearing on their sites. In addition to that also issue directions to the Centre to block websites operating as pornographic sites under pseudo names. Court had earlier directed Google to de-index these websites which contained the photos of the woman, however, there are still some entities which still have the links to those photos.

Summary : Court issued summons to those entities and also asked Senior Advocate Saurabh Kirpal to join as Amicus Curiae.

Link : Link

Read more

Oct-2021

 
 
Act : Constitution of India
Name of the provision : Article 19
Instant : Obscene remarks made on Lord Rama and Krishna on Facebook
Court/state/FIR details : Allahbad HC
Current status : Bail Granted
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed against a man for posting obscene remarks on Lord Rama and Lord Krishna on the ground of hurting religious sentiments. The accused the filed a bail application.

Summary : Court granted the bail application but also observed that no one has the right to hurt the religious sentiments of others in the name of the right to freedom of speech and expression and that Lord Rama & Krishna reside in the heart of Indians.

Link : Link

Read more

Oct-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and UAPA
Name of the provision : Sections 120(B)[Punishment of criminal conspiracy], 153 A(1)(a) and (c), 298 (Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), 505 (1)(b)(c) [Statements conducing to public mischief], 505 (2) [Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes] of the IPC and Section 39 UAPA [Offence relating to support given to a terrorist organization]
Instant : Bail petition for UAPA case [Maulana Fazlul Karim Qasimi v. State of Assam]
Court/state/FIR details : Gauhati HC
Current status : Bail Granted
Brief Facts : The accused had posted a statement on Facebook stating that Taliban in Afghanistan are not terrorists. An FIR was filed against him under IPC and UAPA.

Summary : Court granted bail to the petitioner and observed that it was doubtful as to whether the contents of the Facebook Post alone would constitute a cognizable offence.

Link : Link

Read more

Oct-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Sections 153A, 505(2) r/w 34 IPC.
Instant : G. Veera Venkanna, vs The State Of Andhra Pradesh
Court/state/FIR details : Andhra Pradesh HC
Current status : Stay on arrest
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed against a man for posting a comment on Whatsapp and Facebook against the Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy by resorting to morphing and thereby causing loss of reputation of a tribal woman MLA.

Summary : The court stayed the arrest of the petitioner on the grounds that he could make a strong prima facie case warranting interference of the court.

Link : Link

Read more

Oct-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 124A (Sedition)
Instant : Sedition case against Ex Governor of UP
Court/state/FIR details : Allahbad HC
Current status : Interim protection from arrest granted; next hearing 6 October 2021
Brief Facts : In the FIR, it was alleged that the ex governor had made derogatory remarks against the UP CM and his government for for committing excesses against Samajwadi party MP Azam Khan who is presently detained in Sitapur Jail.

Summary : Court granted him interim protection.

Link : Link

Read more

Sep-21

 
 
Act : IT Rules 2021
Name of the provision : Part II and Part III of the rules
Instant : Validity of rules challenged on the grounds of being ultra vires to the constitution and the parent act; Digital News Publishers Association v UOI and TM Krishna v UOI
Court/state/FIR details : Madras HC
Current status : Interim order passed
Brief Facts : The petitioners had filed pleas with the HC separately challenging the validity of rules. On 23 June court tagged both the matters together and gave them the liberty to approach the court if any coercive action was taken against them under the rules. The court has directed the centre to file counter affidavit.
Summary : In the interim order court observed that Rule 9 is ultra vires the parent act and unconsitutional.
Link : Link

Read more

Sep-2021

 
 
Act : Tort
Name of the provision : Civil Defamation
Instant : RSS-Taliban Remark made by Javed Akhtar
Court/state/FIR details : Thane Court
Current status : Issued notice to Javed Akhtar returnable on 12 November 2021
Brief Facts : Javed Akhtar triggered a controversy when he told NDTV that extremist organisations all over the country have an uncanny similarity, drawing parallels between RSS and the Taliban. On the grounds of these remarks a suit was filed by one Vivek Champanerkar. The petition claims symbolic compensation and a permanent injunction against Akhtar from statements against the RSS.

Summary : Show cause notice issued.

Link : Link

Read more

Sep-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and IT Act
Name of the provision : Sections 295A of the Indian Penal Code, Section 67 of the Information Technology Act
Instant : Facebook post on B.R. Ambedkar
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : Next hearing on 25th October 2021
Brief Facts : An FIR was made against Abdul Rahim Abdul Gani Ghadiyali for making a 'disrespectful' Facebook post on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. However, it was contended that the facebook past was made using a fake account of the person and this was being done to harass him as he is a RTI activist and whistleblower.

Summary : Court granted an anticipatory bail to the accused and observed that unless it is ascertained, whether it was a fake account of the applicant or not, it would not be appropriate to deny him the protection. Court also directed the investigation authority to block the account.

Link : Link

Read more

Sep-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and UAPA
Name of the provision : Sections 120(B) [Punishment of criminal conspiracy], 153 A(1)(a) and (c), 298 (Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), 505 (1)(b)(c) [Statements conducing to public mischief], 505(2) [Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes] of the IPC read with Section 66 of IT Act, and Section 39 of the UAPA.
Instant : Facebook Post glorifying Taliban.
Court/state/FIR details : Gauhati HC
Current status : Bail granted.
Brief Facts : In the FIR it was, alleged that, Alam had posted a Facebook post in which he had shown his support towards Tehreek-e-Taliban, a terrorist organization. He was then taken into custodial detention.

Summary : Court granted him bail and observed that it does not appear to this Court that there was anything such in the posts which would require his further custodial detention beyond 31 days, in the interest of investigation of the case.

Link : Link

Read more

Sep-2021

 
 
Act : NA
Name of the provision : NA
Instant : Writ petition filed against a police letter against conducting a “anti national webinar”
Court/state/FIR details : Madhya Pradesh HC
Current status : Response sought of State government
Brief Facts : A webinar was to be conducted by Professor Rajesh Kumar Gautam (the Petitioner) is presently holding the post of the Head of the Department of Anthropology at the University. However, ABVP wrote to the Vice-Chancellor of the University expressing displeasure at the presence of certain names on the list of the speakers for the Webinar. Subsequent to which a letter by the SP was sent. Due to which the webinar got postponed.

Summary : Court has sought response of the state.

Link : Link

Read more

Sep-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Sections 153, 153-A, 505(1)(b), 120-B, 34
Instant : Quashing of FIR against The Wire journalists
Court/state/FIR details : Allahabad HC
Current status : Sought a reply by Allahabad government by October 2021.
Brief Facts : In June 2021, an FIR was filed against journalists from the Wire for tweeting a video of demolition of a mosque in UP. The FIR alleges that this was done to spread animosity in society' and 'disturb communal harmony. Other people were also named in the FIR, Secretary of the Gareeb Nawaz Masjid Committee and a local resident, who appeared in the video. Their petition for quashing of the FIR was rejected by the court in July 2021.

Summary : Court has sought response from the government.

Link : Link

Read more

Sep-2021

 
 
Act : Tort
Name of the provision : Civil Defamation
Instant : Defamatory remarks made by BJP Leader against Mumbai State Minister [Anil Parab v. Kirit Somaiya]
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : Suit Filed
Brief Facts : Maharashtra State minister of Transport and Parliamentary Affairs Anil Parab filed a civil defamation suit against BJP Leader Kirti Somaiya claiming damages worth Rs 100 crore, for posting defamatory tweets against him over multiple occasions. It is alleged that these remarks have been made because of political rivalry between the two and to garner political gains by Kirti.

Summary : Plaint has been filed.

Link : Link

Read more

Sep-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and IT Act
Name of the provision : Section 509B of IPC and Section67 and 67A of the IT Act.
Instant : Tweet made by Alt News Co-founder Md. Zubair [Mohammed Zubair v. State of GNCT & Ors.]
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : IA filed by NCPCR in the petition for quashing of FIR
Brief Facts : Zubair had made a tweet where he shared the profile picture of Jagdish Singh in which his grand daughter is also present. However, Zubair had blurred her face. Singh then filed an FIR against Zubair for cyber sexual harassment. Subsequent to which Zubair filed a petition for quashing. In this petition NCPCR has filed an application seeking removal of the tweet by twitter and directing twitter to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies.

Summary : NA

Link : Link

Read more

Sep-2021

 
 
Act : Tort
Name of the provision : Civil Defamation
Instant : Defamation Suit against AAP MP [M/s Rashmi Metaliks Limited v. Shri Sanjay Singh]
Court/state/FIR details : Court of Civil Judge, Lucknow
Current status : Matter posted to 16th October 2021
Brief Facts : A civil defamation suit has been filed against Sanjay Singh AAP Rajya Sabha MP by a Kolkata based company Rashmi Metaliks Limited. The suit is based on certain remarks he made against the company, calling it corrupt and accused it of supplying low quality material. These remarks were in the context of this company getting a central government contract for Jal Jeevan Mission. He had also stated that multiple state governments have found there goods to be unusable. The company accused him of making false statements not based on any material with the intention of hurting the reputation of the company.

Summary : Court has issued notice to Sanjay Singh.

Link : Link

Read more

Sep-2021

 
 
Act : Essenatial Defence Services Act 2021
Name of the provision : Sections 1, 2(1)(a) and 2(1)(b), 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12,13,15, 16 and 17 of the Essential Defence Services Act
Instant : Constitutional Validity challenged for provisions restricting Right to Strike [All India Defence Employees Federation & Anr v. Union of India]
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Matter posted to 16th November 2021
Brief Facts : The petition has been filed by All India Defence Employees federation on the grounds that the impugned provisions prohibits any kind of participation or support of strikes. It criminalises peaceful strikes and infringes upon freedom of speech and expression.

Summary : Court has issued a notice to the government in this regard.

Link : Link

Read more

Sep-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Sections 124A, 153B and 505 read with 34
Instant : Anticipatory Bail in a sedition case [Ambadi B v. State of Maharashtra]
Court/state/FIR details : Sessions Court Mumbai
Current status : Bail granted
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed against two students of TISS for raising slogans supporting Sharjeel Imam (an accused in Delhi Riots Case), at an LGBTQ support rally . The video of those students went viral and the police subsequently filed a case.

Summary : Court granted the pre arrest bail to the students on the grounds that there was no material to show that the accused was part of the rally and gave anti national slogans.

Link : Link

Read more

Sep-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 295A
Instant : Gurdas Maan v. State Of Punjab
Court/state/FIR details : Punjab and Haryana HC
Current status : Bail granted
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed against Gurdas Mann a singer for reciting sikh hymns of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji at Marri (Mausoleum). This has allegedly hurt religious sentiments of people from sikh community. The FIR was filed by Paramjit Singh Akali, a member of Sikh youth power of Punjab.

Summary : The court granted the bail and observed that he is not a person who will be able to hide or abscond from the investigation or trail. And there is no recovery that is to be made. The court also observed that freedom of speech and secularism is the foundation of a democracy.

Link : Link

Read more

Sep-2021

 
 
Act : Copyright Act
Name of the provision : Copyright infringement
Instant : Stay of movie “Chehre”
Court/state/FIR details : Allahabad HC
Current status : Interim injunction refused
Brief Facts : Uday Prakash filed a suit for stay of the movie Chehre in December 2019. This was done on the ground that the movie is an infringement of copyright owned by him relating to a story-screenplay-dialogues for a feature film, registered with the Copyright Office at New Delhi under the name of 'Highway-39' in 2007. In 2017 he then came to know that the movie is being bade which was based exactly on the same plot and premise as his copyrighted work. He then sent a cease and desist notice to the defendants in June 2019. the defendants denied any infringement.

Summary : The court observed that both the works share the same theme. However, it is true that the two are distinct and individual treatments of the same subject and theme developed by different individuals in their own way, as a result of their individual intellectual exertions. The two scripts prima facie are distinctly different treatments of the same theme. The court also cited R. G. Anand v Delux Films and others case.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : Constitution of India
Name of the provision : Article 21
Instant : Government Surveillance [CPIL v UOI]
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : 30-Sep-21
Brief Facts : A petition has been filed by Center for Public Interest Litigation. It has been alleged that the government is using Centralised Monitoring System ("CMS"), Network & Traffic Analysis ("NETRA") and National Intelligence Grid ("NATGRID") to monitor communications of individuals through mobile phones, landlines and the internet. It was also contended that 7500-9000 phone tapping orders are passed every month by the central government. Whoich means the review committee has the task of reviewing 15000-18000 orders each time it meets, which very unrealistic.

Summary : The court allowed the SG to file a detailed affidavit and explain in detail the law and procedure followed by it for monitoring and interception of phones.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IT Rules 2021
Name of the provision : Part II, Rule 7
Instant : Writ Petition challenging these rules on the grounds of being Ultra vires the parent act and the constitution.
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : NA
Brief Facts : The IT Rules have been challenged by digital media houses The Quint, AltNews and The Wire. Government filed an affidavit. The affidavit states that the rules provide for redressal mechanism and self regulation, does not have a chilling effect. The regulatory mechanism is in line with the SC judgment given in Common Cause v UOI and is appropriate from teh view point of providing a platform for citizens to flag concerns about content.
Summary : NA
Link : Not Provided

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : CPC
Name of the provision : Section 91
Instant : Civil suit against IMA president and other doctors for Christianity remark
Court/state/FIR details : Tiz Hazari Court
Current status : NA
Brief Facts : The suit has been filed, seeking removal of Dr. JA Jayalal, President and Dr. Jayesh M Lele, Secretary General of Indian Medical Association (IMA) from office bearers for allegedlly maliciously bringing Christianity in the statements given to various news channels/ magazines thereby causing sedition and also for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of people belonging to the Hindu religion by showing comparative superiority of Christianity over Hinduism. The Court granted time to the defendants to file an affidavit. A criminal defamation case was also filed which was disposed of by the court after directing Dr jayalal to not use IMA as a platform to propagate a religion.
Summary : The defendant in their affidavit have urged the court to quash the proceedings as this will cause a chilling effect on their right to free speech. They also claimed that the present suit is a part of an elaborate design by certain groups of individuals who do not agree with IMA’s views and practices.
Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 153A (1)(provoke to riot), 505(2), 504, 506(criminal intimidation), 189 (threat of injury to public servant)
Instant : Bail petition
Court/state/FIR details : Judicial Magistrate First Class
Current status : Bail granted in one of the FIRs
Brief Facts : Union minister Narayan Rane made a derogatory remark against Maharashtra CM, which also involved “slapping him”. FIRs were lodged against him and arrests were made.

Summary : The court observed that arrest of Union minister was justified however custodial interrogation was not needed as the statement was made in front of media. And while granting bail in one FIR the court imposed a condition on him that he shall not commit a similar type of offence.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : Constitution of India
Name of the provision : Article 12, 19 and 226
Instant : Petition against suspension of twitter account
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : 29-Sep-21
Brief Facts : A petition was filed by Sanjay Hegde in December 2019 against twitters action of suspending his account. Twitter had cited “hateful imagery” as a reason for doing the same. An application was now filed by him for an early hearing of this matter.

Summary : To this the court observed that the matter does not involve any urgency, and the petitioner can do without a twitter account. He can switch to any other social media platform.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IPC, IT Act and Trademarks Act
Name of the provision : Section 500 of IPC, Sections 66C and 43(b) of IT Act, sections 102, 107 (falsely applying for trademarks) of the Trademarks Act.
Instant : Petition to quash FIR
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : NA
Brief Facts : The FIR was lodged by a bank gainst Sony Pictures Network India Pvt Ltd for the show 'Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta story’ that aired on SonyLiv app. It was alleged that a logo was displayed in the background which resembles its trademark, causing severe damage to its financial, commercial and social reputation.

Summary : Court verbally directed the police to not take any adverse action against Sony.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 499 and 500 (criminal defamation)
Instant : FIR against Movie Gangubai Kathiawadi
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : Criminal Proceedings stayed till 7 September
Brief Facts : The FIR was lodged by Babuji Shah, adoptive son of Gangubai Kathiawadi, for staying the release of the movie titled ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ on the grounds that it is defamatory in nature and an infringement on his right to privacy, self respect and liberty.

Summary : The court stayed the proceedings.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : Constitution of India
Name of the provision : Article 19
Instant : Denial of press pass to cover Rajya Sabha proceedings [Anil Chamadia v. Chairman, Media Advisory Committee, Rajya Sabha]
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : 27-Sep-21
Brief Facts : Rajya Sabha Media Advisory Committee refused to give press pass to a senior journalist Anil Chamadia. She has 22 years of experience in covering Parliamentary proceedings. She was given a pass from 2009-2017. A petition was filed before a single bench and they refused to interfere, thus an appeal was filed before division bench.

Summary : The court issued notice to the Rajya Sabha Media Advisory Committee.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by a public servant)
Instant : Bail application
Court/state/FIR details : Court of Metropolitan Magistrate
Current status : Bail granted
Brief Facts : Anti Muslim slogans were raised by people participating in a march titled “Colonial laws and make uniform laws”. They sparked outrage on twitter. The march was organised by a supreme court lawyer and BJP spokesperson Ashwini upadhyay under the banner “Bharat Jodo Movement”. The Delhi police had denied him permission to conduct the march.

Summary : The court granted bail on the ground that there is nothing on record to show that the alleged hate speech to promote enmity between different groups was done in the presence or at the behest of the applicant/accused.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IT Rules 2021
Name of the provision : Part II, Rule 7
Instant : Writ Petition challenging these rules on the grounds of being Ultra vires the parent act and the constitution.
Court/state/FIR details : Maharashtra HC, Bombay Bench
Current status : NA
Brief Facts : The petition has been filed by AGIJ Ltd, owner of “The Leaflet” and Nikhli Wagle a senior journalist. It challenges the Information Technology (Guidelines For Intermediaries And Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

Summary : Court stayed Rules 9(1) adn (3) of the IT Rules, which mandate that digital news media and online publishers should adhere to Code of Ethics prescribed by the rules. Court held that the Code is prima facie violative of article 19(2). It was observed that the restrictions placed were beyond the scope of reasonable restrictions under 19(2).

Link : Link

Read more

11-Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IT Rules 2021
Name of the provision : Part II, Rule 7
Instant : Writ Petition challenging these rules on the grounds of being Ultra vires the parent act and the constitution.
Court/state/FIR details : Maharashtra HC, Bombay Bench
Current status : Matter to be heard on 13.08.2021
Brief Facts : The petition has been filed by AGIJ Ltd, owner of “The Leaflet” and Nikhli Wagle a senior journalist. It challenges the Information Technology (Guidelines For Intermediaries And Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

Summary : The challenge is on the grounds of breach of privacy, violation of fundamental rights under article 19(1)(a) and 21. It also contends that certain provisions of the rules are ultra vires the parent act. The petition also seeks an interim relief of stay on the rules. The Union has asked for time to file a short affidavit as reply to interim relief plea. The union has also filed a plea in the supreme court to transfer all the petitions challenging the rules to the SC.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : Constitution of India
Name of the provision : Article 19, 21 and 14
Instant : Pleas seeking probe into Pegasus Spyware use on certain Indian Citizens
Court/state/FIR details : Supreme Court
Current status : Matter posted to 16th August
Brief Facts : After the release of a report by Security Lab of Amnesty internation and then by other news platforms regarding use of spyware named Pegasus on Indian Citizens like activists, politicians, judges, lawyers etc. Petitions were filed by veteran journalists N Ram, Sashi Kumar, advocate ML Sharma and rajya Sabha MP John Brittas.

Summary : It was contended that use of such a spyware has wide reaching ramifications. It will have wide reaching ramifications, it is a matter of national security. According to the petitioners, the forensic analysis of several mobile phones belonging to persons targeted for surveillance by the Security Lab of Amnesty International have confirmed Pegasus-induced security breaches. They also seeked direction to UOI to disclose if the government of India or any of its agencies have obtained licenses for the spyware.

Link : Link

Read more

10-Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by a public servant)
Instant : FIR filed against Anti Muslim sloganeering
Court/state/FIR details : Connaught Place Police Station in Delhi
Current status : Court has sent four people in Judicial Custody
Brief Facts : Anti Muslim slogans were raised by people participating in a march titled “Colonial laws and make uniform laws”. They sparked outrage on twitter. The march was organised by a supreme court lawyer and BJP spokesperson Ashwini upadhyay under the banner “Bharat Jodo Movement”. The Delhi police had denied him permission to conduct the march.

Summary : The court has now remanded four people including Ashwini Upadhyay in judicial custody. And investigation has initiated.

Link : Link

Read more

10-Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IT Act and IT Rules 2021
Name of the provision : Section 79 and rule 4(c)
Instant : Amit Acharya v UOI
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Matter posted to 5th October
Brief Facts : A plea was filed by Amit Acharya, a practising advocate in Delhi HC. His grievance was that Twitter being a Significant Social Media Intermediary (SSMI) has failed to comply with the provisions of the rules as it has not appointed any Resident Grievance Officer, Nodal Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. Thereby leaving the victim without any remedy. The ministry of Electronics and IT then told the court that Twitter has lost its safe harbour immunity under section 79 of the IT Act due to non compliance of the rules. The court had then given twitter opportunity to comply with the rules and file an affidavit.

Summary : On 10th August fresh affidavits were filed by twitter with regard to compliance with the rules and the central government informed the court that Twitter seems to have appointed permanent officers in compliance with the IT Rules. However, they asked for a short adjournment to file an affidavit in the matter.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 499 and 500 (Defamation)
Instant : Defamation proceedings against Kangana Ranaut by Javed Akhtar
Court/state/FIR details : Maharashtra HC, Bombay Bench
Current status : Matter adjourned to 18 August 2021
Brief Facts : Javed Akhtar had filed a criminal complaint against Kangana Ranaut before a Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Andheri. The magistrate ordered a police enquiry under section 202 CrPC and subsequently summoned Ms Kangana. Subsequently, Ms kangana challenged the Metropolitan Magistrate Court’s order, and her petition was dismissed in April 2021. She then filed an appeal in the Bombay HC. To this javed Akhtar filed an affidavit seeking to dismiss the appeal stating that the sole purpose of the plea is to delay the proceedings.

Summary : The plea seeks to quash the entire defamation proceedings before the Magistrate court as being unsustainable in law. It claims that the Magistrate wrongly issued process under section 204 of the CrPC and summoned Kangana in the criminal complaint based on witness statements collected through a police inquiry instead of examining the witnesses himself.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : POSCO
Name of the provision : Section 23
Instant : Makarand Suresh Mhadlekar v Rahul Gandhi
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Matter posted to 27 September
Brief Facts : The petition has been filed by social activist Makarand Suresh against Rahul Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi posted a picture of family of 9 year old rape victim on twitter. The plea seeks a direction to twitter to remove the picture and also initiate proceedings against Rahul Gandhi.

Summary : Twitter submitted that it has already removed the post and locked Rahul Gandhi’s account. The court appreciated this prompt step. The petitioner also demanded initiation of an action against Rahul Gandhi for violating section 23 of POSCO and the guidelines laid down in Nipun Saxena v UOI wherein SC held that personal information and particulars of a victim or child in conflict with law cannot be disclosed in Media.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and UAPA
Name of the provision : Sections 121, 121A, 124A, 153A, 505(1)(b), 117, 120B r/w 34 of the IPC and sections 13,16,17,18,18-B,20,38,39 and 40 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Instant : Bhima Koregaon case; transfer of accused to a different jail. [update on a previous entry]
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : Matter posted to 13th August
Brief Facts : Of the 16 accused arrested in the Bhima Koregaon Case, 10 are lodged in Taloja Prison. NIA Special Court permitted the transfer of these accused out to another jail. This permission was then challenged by the kin of accused.

Summary : The transfer applications accuse the families and lawyers of taking afvantage of the covid 19 situation and making false complaints through media to build pressure on taloja jail authority and achieve their “intention”. On the other hand the petition challenging the transfer of accused has claimed that the transfer violates principles of natural justice, as the NIA special judge passed transfer orders without issuing a notice and giving a hearing to them. They also claimed that Transfer to different prisons could have severe repercussions on the accused in preparing their defence against a charge sheet that runs into over twenty thousand pages. The court however refused to stay the transfer order, as they observed that earlier accused had made complaints regarding the treatment by the jail authorities. However, those jail authorities are no longer in that jail now.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Sections 406, 420 and 120B
Instant : Money laundering allegations against online news platform
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Matter posted to 17th December
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed by the Delhi Economic Offences wing against NewsClick for recieving FDI to the tune of Rs 9.59 crore from Worldwide Media Holdings LLC, US, during 2018- 19. this, it is alleged, was made by greatly overvaluing the shares of the company to avoid the alleged cap of 26% of FDI in a digital news website. The editor in chief Parbir Purkayastha then applied for an anticipatory bail in Delhi HC, which was granted. Eventually, in the status report, RBI mentioned that there was no delay in issue of the shares as well as reposting as per FEMA refulations in case of M/s PPK New Click Studio Pvt Ltd.

Summary : The court has allowed continuation of anticipatory bail till 17th December based on the status report filed as so far there was a prima facie favourable view for him by the RBI and there is no need for custodial interrogation.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IT Rules 2021
Name of the provision : Part II, Rule 7
Instant : Writ Petition challenging these rules on the grounds of being Ultra vires the parent act and the constitution.
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Matter posted to 20th August
Brief Facts : The IT Rules have been challenged by digital media houses The Quint, AltNews and The Wire.

Summary : The challenge is that the rules are violative of Article 19(1)(a) and 14, as they are vague and arbitrary. It is also contended that these rules are ultra vires the parent act to the extent it regulates the publishers of news and current affairs content.The court agreed to post the matter to a further date as a plea has been filed in the SC to transfer all the matters from Hcs to the SC.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : CrPC and UAPA
Name of the provision : 439, 482 and 167(2)(a)(i) of the CrPC read with section 43 D(2)of the UAPA (bail provisions)
Instant : Default Bail application filed by Sudha Bhardwaj and co accused in Bhima Koregao Case [update on a previous entry]
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : The court has reserved its order
Brief Facts : Pune sessions judge (which is not a special court under NIA) granted extension to file chargesheet and subsequnetly took cognizance of the same. The cognizance was taken by the judge after NIA was given charge of the case.

Summary : The petition argues that the sessions court not being a special court under NIA cannot take grant extension and take cognizance subsequently for scheduled offences under NIA. Thereby, making the order by sessions court null and void and making petitioners eligible for default bail. However, the state contended that a sessions court has the power for extension when a case is not being investigated by the NIA but by state police.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 121A (conspiracy to commit offence)
Instant : Bail petition of a Pathalgadi Leader Babita Sukar Kashyap v. State Of Gujarat
Court/state/FIR details : Gujarat HC
Current status : Court granted bail to the accused
Brief Facts : Babita along with 2 others was alleged to have entered their activities in the tribal area of Gujarat and thus instigated the followers of Sati-Pati Cult of tribal to take violent means by wrong interpretation of the Fifth Schedule of Constitution of India and wage war against India.

Summary : The court found that no actual violence or breach of the peace occurred at any point on account of her raising a voice in the line of her interpretation of Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of India. There is no presence of mens rea which is essential element under section 124A and 153A. the FIR in question is registered only on account of other similar such offences registered in the State of Jharkhand. The court also said that the seized material is available on the internet and no incriminating material was found against her.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : UAPA
Name of the provision : Not Provided
Instant : Quashing of FIR related to Bhima Koregao [update on a previous entry]
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : Posted to next hearing
Brief Facts : A plea has been filed by Rona Wilson in the court to quash FIR against him as it has been found that the incriminating material found on his computer was planted there. The petitioner is relying on the report by Arsenal Consulting, a USA forensics company. It is being alleged the malware called NetWire was planted through email. The report shows that the hacker initially carried out surveillance and later delivered 52 documents which were stored in a hidden folder called 'Rbackup.' The last document was added just a day before Wilson's house was searched and his laptop was seized, on April 17, 2018. The petition for quashing the FIR was filed on 10 Feb 2021 and hearing started on 26 July.

Summary : The hearing is going on on the matter of maintainability.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : Gujarat Police Act
Name of the provision : Section 56(b)
Instant : Externment order passed by SDM; Pravinbhai v State of Gujarat and SDM, Godhra
Court/state/FIR details : Gujarat HC
Current status : Court stayed the exterment order passed by the SDM
Brief Facts : The petitioner – the citizen raise a complaint as to why the MLA was not doing work of the people and thereafter heated words were exchanged. Thus, as an offshoot of the said grievance of the petitioner, an FIR came to be registered against him on the written complaint of the son of the said MLA. Futher an exterment order was passed agaisnt the petitioner beyond his powers and the petitioner was externed for 2 years. This was passed on basis of FIRs filed in 2017, 2019. The currently challenged order was based on an FIR filed in June 2021.

Summary : The court quashed the order and noted that it was without the authority of law and beyond the Magistrate's authority. The court also observed that If the grievance of the citizen against local MLAs are to be dealt with in this manner, not only the citizen needs to be protected, even the response needs to be asked from the concerned MLA, whether he supports such an order. The court also ordered for transfer of SDM.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Petition filed to highlight growth of news agencies on social media which are allegedly involved in circulating fake news.
Court/state/FIR details : J&K and Ladhak HC
Current status : Matter posted to 1st September
Brief Facts : The petition is filed by an NGO, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Forum. It was alleged in the plea that in the Union Territory, several news portals likeKashmir News, Kashmir Voice, Kashmir Breaking News, News Kashmir 24/7, Kashmir Business Hub and Bol Kashmiretc are operating freely without any registration or license from any authority and these news portals are not under supervision and control of any authority whatsoever.

Summary : The court has asked the government of Jammu and Kashmir to file a response to point out the provisions of law under which the news portals, it at all are required to be registered or licensed.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and IT Act
Name of the provision : Section 153A of IPC and section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form )
Instant : Anticipatory bail petition for posting vulgar photographs of goddess Saraswati
Court/state/FIR details : Patna HC
Current status : Bail denied
Brief Facts : The petitioners clicked vulgar and obscene photographs with the statue of Goddess Saraswati and made it viral on social media platforms.

Summary : Court dismissed the petition.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 124-A, 153-A, 294, 504, 500, 506, 505 (1)
Instant : Bail application in a sedition case (Dalbir Singh v State of Haryana)
Court/state/FIR details : Panjab and Haryana HC
Current status : Bail Granted
Brief Facts : Dalbir a farmer leader gave a speech. Which allegedly had objectionable content with regard to haryana CM and could have resulted in case based violence.

Summary : Court granted the bail application stating that it is a matter of trial to detemine the nature of contents of the speech and the intention behind it. It further noted that investigation is complete in both the cases and then granted bail.

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and the constitution of India
Name of the provision : 124A, 120 adn article 19(1)(a)
Instant : Sedition case against climate activist Disha Ravi
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Matter posted to 27th August
Brief Facts : A plea was filed by Disha Ravi seeking to restrain Delhi police from leaking to the media any investigation material relating to the case against her in connection with the 'toolkit' over the farmers protests. Delhi Police then filed an affidavit denying these allegations. Disha Ravi then put the question “who will take the responsibility of the leak” as she was in custody when it happened.

Summary : The court observed that there are 3 important issues in this petition which are of public interest. First, the privacy, dignity of the individual concerned as also her right to fair trial. The second aspect would be the sovereignty/integrity of the country and whether there could be reasonable restrictions that could be imposed considering the nature of the investigation that is currently taking place. The third aspect would be the right to free speech and the right of the public to know

Link : Link

Read more

Aug-2021

 
 
Act : IT Rules 2021
Name of the provision : Part II and Part III of the rules
Instant : Validity of rules challenged on the grounds of being ultra vires to the constitution and the parent act; Digital News Publishers Association v UOI and TM Krishna v UOI
Court/state/FIR details : Madras HC
Current status : Matter posted to 13th August
Brief Facts : The petitioners had filed pleas with the HC separately challenging the validity of rules. On 23 June court tagger both the matters together and gave them the liberty to approach the court if any coercive action was taken against them under the rules. The court has directed the centre to file counter affidavit. While the centre government contended that a transfer petition has been filed in SC.

Summary : It has been contended by the petitioners that the rules are that the rules were violative of the fundamental rights to freedom of expression and privacy and also ultra-vires the parent statute, the Information Technology Act. It is also contended that the rules are vague and indeterminate thus liable to be struck down. The court observed that unless there is a stay imposed by the SC on hearing of these pleas court will not stop the hearing. Filing of transfer petition cannot be a reason to stop the hearing.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IT Rules and IT Act
Name of the provision : Rule 4(c) and section 79
Instant : Validity of rules challenged on the grounds of being ultra vires to the constitution and the parent act
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Matter posted to 27th August
Brief Facts : Plea was filed by WhatsApp on 26th May challenging the rules on the grounds that it violates article 19(1)(a), 21, 14 and the parent act. The court admitted the petition and asked centre to file a counter affidavit which is yet to be filed.

Summary : The petition contends that the traceability provision under rule 4(c) will force it to build the ability to identify the first originator for every message sent in India on its platform upon request by the government forever. It will also force them to break end to end encryption. This will not only breach the privacy of its users but also create a chilling effect.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Plea to retrain news channels from publishing defamatory content against her
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : -
Brief Facts : After the arrest of Raj Kundra in a porn racket case several article were published related to him and his wife Shilpa Shetty. She has filed a petition against 29 defendants including Clapping Hands Private Limited, Free Press Journal, Facebook, Instagram, Google etc.She has sought for the defendants to take down the defamatory content and issue unconditional apology. facie defamatory.

Summary : The petitioner contended that certain articles were published with an intent to increase their readership by sensationalizing news, and reporting false statements concerning her and the criminal investigation that is ongoing against her husband Raj Kundra. The court then directed removal of certain videos from media and news channels, that are prima facie defamatory. However, it did make an order and observed that a deeper scrutiny is required. It was also observed that freedom of press must be balanced against right privacy of an individual.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : UAPA and IPC
Name of the provision : sec. 13, 16, 17, 18 of the UAPA
Instant : Bail Application in Delhi Riots larger conspiracy case [update on a previous entry]
Court/state/FIR details : Addition sessions judge, Delhi
Current status : Matter Adjourned to 7th August
Brief Facts : Same facts as previous entries

Summary : Not Provided

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : Not Provided
Instant : Injunction on film release
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Matter to be heard by single judge
Brief Facts : Sushant Singh Rajputs father approched the court a day before release of a film called Nyay: the justice based on the life of his son. He had asked for an ex parte, ad interim injunction. This was denied by the court. This dismissal has been appealed now. The father had earlier made a statement (through his counsel) that “no movie(s), book(s) or series based on the his son should be made without obtaining the prior consent of his family.” Despite that this movie was made.

Summary : It was argued before the court that release of such movie is to commercially exploit the life of his son. It also affects his right to fair trail and will breach the fathers right to privacy. Before the division bench it was argued that the OTT platform had fasely submitted that the movie has been released as 72 minutes in the movie are missing. It was alleged that this was done so that an injunction order is not granted in the favour of petitioner. The court observed that the parties have the liberty to argue the case before the single judge bench as after the release of the movie circumstances have changed and the father can put forth his grievances with regard to the movie before the single bench.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : NSA and Constitution of India
Name of the provision : Section 3 and Article 21
Instant : habeas Corpus [Elangbam Ranjita v. State of Manipur & Anr]
Court/state/FIR details : Manipur HC
Current status : hearing for compensation for unlawful deterntion posted to 24th August
Brief Facts : Two journalists Kishorchandra Wangkhemcha and Erendro Leichombam were arrested for putting up posts on Facebook stating that cow dung and cow urine does not work as a cure to covid. Erendro was released by an order given by the supreme court on 5th July. Whereas Kishorchandra continued to be in jail on the same grounds. It was also stated that charges under NSA were only used to keep the accused under detention and reeked of malice. The petition was filed by Kishorchandra's wife and she also told the court that several attempts have been made to approach the Home Department (Chief Secretary) and District Magistrate for revoking NSA slapping against Kishore for allegations similar to Erendro's, which has been revoked by the said office by on order soon after his release by the Supreme Court.

Summary : In this regard, the Court noted that there is no distinction between the case of Kishor and Erendro Leichombam. Both of them put up similar Facebook posts, critical of the utility of cow dung and cow urine in treating the Coronavirus. As the Supreme Court squarely covers the case in an identically situated person, the court suspended the order passed by Manipur government under section 3 of NSA.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IT Rules
Name of the provision : Rule 3(1)(d) and Rule 7
Instant : Constitutional validity challenged
Court/state/FIR details : Karnataka HC
Current status : 6th September
Brief Facts : The plea was filed on 31st march. The court has directed the centre to file a counter affidavit by 3rd march.

Summary : The petition contends that rules are in violation of Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution. Further they violate the law laid down in Shreya Singhal. It also contended that under the garb of regulating media and bringing in certain checks and balances want to indirectly curb, restrict and prevent the free circulation of information which is pivotal for the growth of any democracy.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IPC, IT Act and Uttar Pradesh Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act.
Name of the provision : Section 504 and 507 of IPC, Section 66 and 67A of IT Act and Section 4 of UP Medicare Act
Instant : Plea seekign quashing of FIR (Ashok Kumar Gautam v. State of U.P. and Another )
Court/state/FIR details : Allahbad HC
Current status : Proceeding stayed till next hearing ie 1st spetember
Brief Facts : The petitioner, in his post, had expressed anguish over his wife's death during the course of her medical treatment.

Summary : It was argued by the petitioner that the entire proceeding is malicious and to cause harassment as in September 2020 petitioner had submitted a complaint with regard to the matter relating to death of his wife. The court then observed that the matter required consideration and stayed the proceedings before Additional CJM till next hearing

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Sections 120-B (conspiracy), 124-A(sedition),147, 148, 149, 186, 307, 323, 332, 341, 353, 427
Instant : Bail petition related to sedition case filed against protesting farmers (Sahab Singh & ors v State of Haryana)
Court/state/FIR details : Sirsa Sessions Court (Haryana)
Current status : Bail granted
Brief Facts : On July 11, 2021, a training camp of BJP Workers was organized at Choudhary Devi Lal University, Sirsa and Ranbir Singh Gangwa, Speaker, Haryana Government was presiding over the said function. Many farmers were protesting against the same at the gates of the University. When the vehicle of the Haryana Assembly's deputy speaker came out of the gate and protesters intercepted the said vehicle and raised slogans.

Summary : The court notes that commission of an offence under 124A is doubtful in the case and granted bail.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 124A and 153B
Instant : Petition to quash sedition proceeding
Court/state/FIR details : Kerala HC
Current status : Reply filed by Lakshadweep Administration
Brief Facts : Aisha had made certain remarks regarding Lakshadweep administration on a news show, saying that they have released a bio weapon. She eventually apologised for her statement and made clarifications. The administration then filed a case against her to attempt to excite disaffection among people towards government of India. Aisha then filed an anticipatory bail petition which was granted by the court. Then she filed the petition to quash the FIR. To which the administration has filed a reply stating that Aisha is not cooperating with them.

Summary : Not Provided

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 153A and 500
Instant : Petition for anticipatory bail against FIR
Court/state/FIR details : Allahbad HC
Current status : Bail granted
Brief Facts : In several posts on social media, Narain, the petitioner had alleged that Rai through his brothers had grabbed the land of a gaushala worth ₹50 crores and illegally constructed a degree college on it. Then a complaint was lodged against him for making baseless allegations and defaming Rai.

Summary : Court found that several sections added in the FIR deal with entirely different issues other than defamation. Court then stated all the sections mentioned in the FIR and how they are unrelated.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : CrPC
Name of the provision : Section 41A
Instant : Notice issued by UP police in relation to Loni Case
Court/state/FIR details : Karnataka HC
Current status : Notice quashed
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed in Ghazibad, UP over the tweets made by few journalists and politicians about the incident of an elderly Muslim man getting assaulted near Ghaziabad. It was alleged in the FIR that fake news was shared on Twitter that the attack was communal in nature. An FIR was filed under section 153, 153A, 295A, 120B and 505. In relation to this FIR a notice was issued by Ghaziabad police to Twitter’s India head to appear in Loni Border Police Station to record his statement.

Summary : The court quashed the notice and called a tool of harassment. It further added that UP Police issued the coercive notice without ascertaining if Manish Maheshwari, the MD of Twitter Communications India Private Ltd (TCIPL), had any control over the contents posted in Twitter. Thereby holding the notice to be mala fide and not maintainable. The court gave police liberty to seek statements of Maheshwari as a witness through virtual mode.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : NSA and Constitution of India
Name of the provision : Section 3 and Article 21
Instant : Release petition
Court/state/FIR details : Supreme Court
Current status : Release granted
Brief Facts : Erendro was initially arrested on 13.05.2021 for his Facebook post of 13.05.2021 where he had stated that: "The cure for Corona is Not cow dung & cow urine. The cure is science & common sense Professor ji RIP". The statement was made in the context of the death of the President of the Manipur BJP, Prof. Tikendra Singh, was meant as a criticism of the BJP politicians who had been advocating cow-urine and cow-dung as cures for COVID-19. Enraged by the Facebook post, few local BJP leaders filed complaint, leading to his arrest. On 17.05.2021, the day, he was granted bail by the local court, the District Magistrate, Imphal West District detained him under the stringent National Security Act 1980 (NSA), which is a preventive detention law.

Summary : The corut granted his release for an execution bond of Rs 1000. It was also observed that continued detention of the petitioner would amount to a violation of Article 21.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 500
Instant : Appeal in a defamation case
Court/state/FIR details : Supreme Court
Current status : Petition withdrawn
Brief Facts : Bombay HC passed an order restraining KRK from posting defamatory content related to Vashu Bhagnani. KRK filed a petition in SC challenging the order and now withdrew it to appeal before the division bench.

Summary : Not Provided

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and UAPA
Name of the provision : Section120B, 124A, 153A, and 153B of the IPC and Sections 18 & 39 of UAPA
Instant : Plea against Akhil Gogoi’s discharge by NIA special Court
Court/state/FIR details : Gauhati HC
Current status : Plea admitted
Brief Facts : Akhil Gogoi was discharged by NIA Special court on 1st july 2021. An appeal agaisnt this discharge has been filed by the NIA.

Summary : Not Provided

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and UAPA
Name of the provision : Section 124A, 153A, 505 of IPC and Section 13 of UAPA
Instant : Bail application for sedition charges
Court/state/FIR details : Addition sessions judge, Delhi
Current status : Matter posted to 2nd and 4th august
Brief Facts : Imam Sharjeel was arrested in January 2020 for speeches made by him at Jamia, Delhi and AMU. It was alleged that the speeches made by him are seditious in nature. There is another FIR registered against him in the Larger Conspiracy Case related to Delhi Riots. Bail application for that is also pending.

Summary : The counsel argued that criticism of constitutional policy and governmental policy cannot be termed as seditious. The speech was made in the context of CAA-NRC and the FIR has taken selective passages to give it an illegal context.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and UAPA
Name of the provision : 121, 121A, 124A, 153A, 505(1)(b), 117, 120b r/w 34 of the IPC and sections 13,16,17,18,18-B,20,38,39 and 40 of the UAPA
Instant : Bail application Arrest of Dr. Anand Teltumbde [update on a previous entry]
Court/state/FIR details : NIA Special Court
Current status : Rejected bail application
Brief Facts : Dr Teltumbde was arrested on 14th April 2020 in relation to the Bhima Koregao violence.

Summary : While rejecting the bail application court held that there is a fine balance between the societal interest and personal liberty and that has to be maintained. It held that the allegations made against the applicant are prima facie true. The court cited Watalia Judgment to refuse to test the admissibility of letters and email which are being used as incriminating material. It was also contended that some of the statements which are being relied upon by the prosecution are hearsay and cannot be admitted, however court found substance in those statements. Court also refused to look into personal and academic background of the Dr Teltumbde.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IT Rules 2021
Name of the provision : Part III
Instant : Constitutional validity of the provisions
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Notice issued and tagged with other such petitions; posted to 20th August
Brief Facts : Press Trust of India has challenged the provisions in IT Rules on similar grounds as other petitions.

Summary : Not Provided

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : WhatsApp privacy policy [update on a previous entry]
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Matter posted to 27th August
Brief Facts : A petition was filed challenging whatsapp new privacy policy. Subsequent to that in March CCI also issued a probe against WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook for anti abuse of dominant position. Both companies then challenged this probe in the HC which was then dismissed in the month of April. They have now appealed against this dismissal.

Summary : WhatsApp has now informed the court that it will bring in the new Privacy Policy when the Data Protection Bill is enacted and the policy will be in accordance with the new Act.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and IT Act
Name of the provision : Section 153, 153A,153-B/295-A/504/505/506 and Section 66(F) of IT Act
Instant : Bail application; Mukesh Jain vs. State of Odisha
Court/state/FIR details : Orissa HC
Current status : Bail granted
Brief Facts : Mukhesh Jain had put a message on WhatsApp group urging people to join him on a mission to assault the former Chief Justice of India with shoes for refusing permission to observe Rath Yatra. Several FIRs were filed against him and he got bail in two of them.

Summary : Court after taking note of the fact that he had received bail in two other cases and the length of his detention allowed his bail application.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 153, 153A, 120B and 501(1)(b)
Instant : Application to quash the proceedings
Court/state/FIR details : Allahbad HC
Current status : Denied the petition
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed against two journalists of digital news media platform The Wire, Mohammad Anees, secretary of the mosque committee, and Mohammad Naeem, one of the local residents. It has been filed in relation to a video the wire made on demolition of Gareeb Nawaz Mosque, which according to UP administration was an illegal structure. The FIR alleges that the video was created with the intent to generate animosity between religious groups.

Summary : The court did not quash the proceedings and furhter said that it would remain open for the petitioners to file a pre-arrest bail in the matter.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and UAPA
Name of the provision : Section 153 A, 124A, 295A, 120B of IPC and Sections 17 and 18 of UAPA
Instant : Bail Application of Siddique Kappan
Court/state/FIR details : Additional Sessions Judge, Mathura
Current status : Bail Rejected
Brief Facts : Kappan along with Rahman, Masud Ahmed and Alam was arrested in October last year while they were heading to Hathras where a 19-year old Dalit woman had allegedly been gang-raped and murdered. The FIR against them claimed that they were going to Hathras with an intention "to breach the peace" as part of a "conspiracy".

Summary : The court rejected the application primarily on the basis of the alleged material collected against him during the investigation. The court noted that he along with co accused committed acts which affected communal harmony. It also observed that it had been found out that he is a worker of PFI and has been indulged in anti-national acts. Additionally Kappan had submitted that he wanted to proceed to Hathras in the capacity of a journalist but the identity card found with him was of a news platform which had stopped operations in the year 2018.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : UAPA and Constitution of India
Name of the provision : Habeas Corpus
Instant : Remand of Gulshifa Fatima in Delhi Riots case [update on a previous entry]
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Petition dismissed
Brief Facts : Gulshifa was arrested on april 11 in relation to larger conspiracy in Delhi riots case. She has been in remand since then and a habeas corpus was filed in june.

Summary : The court dismissed the petition stating that the court cannot decide the validity of a remand order ina habeas corpus petition.

Link : Link

Read more

Jul-2021

 
 
Act : Maharashtra Prisons (Facilities to Prisoners) Rules, 1962
Name of the provision : Rule 17 and 20
Instant : Arrest of Dr Telumbde and Vernon Gonsalves [update of a previous entry]
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : Not Provided
Brief Facts : Dr Teltumbde and Mr Gonsalves were arrested in relation to Bhima Koregao violence. Mr Teltumbde wrote an article for Caravan in March 2021 and since then the Prison Superintendent has imposed a ban on the accused and has withheld their letters/ communications addressed to their families and advocates. Their families made representation to the SP and the Special Inspector General but no response has been received. Hence they have filed these petitions.

Summary : In the petition it has been contended that the Prison superintendent has misinterpreted the article written in Caravan. Rules 17 and 20 provide for the subjects on which prisoners may communicate. It included personal matters and excludes any matter likely to become the subject of political propaganda or any criticisms on the administration of the prison or any reference to other persons confined in prison. The case of petitioners is that due to misinterpretation of the article which was not related to any political propaganda this ban has been placed on the accused. NIA has not received a copy of the pleading so the court directed the petitioners to serve a copy to them.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : IT Rules
Name of the provision : Not Provided
Instant : Consitutional validity of IT Rules
Court/state/FIR details : Calcutta HC
Current status : Matter posted to 4th August
Brief Facts : Similar grounds raised as other petitions

Summary : Not Provided

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Sections 153, 153A, 109, 506, 120B of IPC
Instant : Petition to stay the proceedings
Court/state/FIR details : Tripura HC
Current status : Petition granted and issued notice returnable on 23rd July
Brief Facts : The petitioner had put a facebook post stating “Finish the end”. An FIR was filed against him alleging that it was part of a chain of events and other connected facebook posts put up by two other active members of a political outfit. It was alleged that these posts would lead to riots and ruckus amongst different political groups and breach the peace and tranquillity in the society.

Summary : The court stayed the probe stating that the petitioner cannot be attributed any act of inciting violence, disturbing peace or harmony amongst different groups on the basis of the said post. The allegations of the conspiracy are also in my prima facie opinion not based on any material or even allegations in the FIR.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and IT Act
Name of the provision : Section 505 of IPC and Section 66 of IT Act
Instant : Petition to stay arrest of an ex IAS
Court/state/FIR details : Allahbad HC
Current status : Petition granted
Brief Facts : The petitioner shared a tweet in which an audio clip was uploaded which allegedly talked about sharing of favourable tweets for the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath in return for money. It was alleged that the tweet was a part of a larger conspiracy against the persons in the audio clip.

Summary : The court stayed his arrest and adjourned the matter for next hearing to decide the writ for quashing the petition.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Reporting of court hearings by press
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : Notice issued to Udaipur Times Newspaper
Brief Facts : The newspaper gained access to court proceedings and then reported them in their paper and also made comments in the editorial section on the lawyers in the case and the Judge himself.

Summary : The court observed that reports have been allowed to access court proceedings but with specific well known restrictions. The court observed that prima facie Udaipur times knew about the restrictions in place.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : Not Provided
Name of the provision : Civil Defamation
Instant : Defamatory statements made against actor/social activist
Court/state/FIR details : City Civil Court Bangalore
Current status : Not Provided
Brief Facts : The actor also a social activist working for bringing equality in society, had made certain tweets related to teachings of Ambedkar and Periyar. Based on those tweets an FIR was filed against him under section 153A of the IPC. Subsequent to that the Labour Minister of Karnataka made certain defamatory statements against him. The action then filed this suit to seek Rs 1 as damages, unconditional apology and injunction restraining the minister from making any remarks related to him and his family in future.

Summary : The court has posted the matter to hear the other side.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : Civil Defamation
Instant : Civil defamation suit against KRK
Court/state/FIR details : City Civil Court Mumbai
Current status : Ad interim injunction granted
Brief Facts : Salman Khan and Salman khan ventures filed a civil defamation suit against KRK for posing defamatory tweets regarding Salman Khan on twitter.

Summary : The court granted teh injucntion restraining KRK from publishing defamatory content against Hindi film actor Salman Khan, his family members or business associates, till final disposal of the defamation suit. The court observed that KRK "exceeded" his limits of freedom, that his statements were prima facie "libellous" and that "irreparable" loss will be caused to Salman Khan if KRK was not injuncted.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : CrPC
Name of the provision : Section 41A
Instant : Notice issued by UP police in relation to Loni Case
Court/state/FIR details : Karnataka HC
Current status : Transit anticipatory bail
Brief Facts : Petition filed by Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking portal 'AltNews. A section 41A notice was issued to him with respect to Loni video Case.

Summary : The court granted the bail as there was no apprehension of arrest at this juncture.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Objectification of women, defamation etc done by online platforms
Court/state/FIR details : MP HC
Current status : Court issued notice
Brief Facts : The petition has been filed by Maatr Foundation alleging that online platforms like facebook, whatapp, instagram are displaying/ hosting obscene, unregulated, uncertified, sexually explicit, and legally restricted content. It was further contended that ocial media companies are facilitating online gambling, online prostitution, online hate crimes, online economic frauds and other illegal activities. The petition prays guidlines are framed to regulate content and direct social media platforms to remove all such content.

Summary : Not Provided

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 124A, 153 and 153A
Instant : Bail petition
Court/state/FIR details : AP HC
Current status : Bail granted
Brief Facts : The judicial officer had made some statements on a TV show with regard to the was government was being run. It is also alleged that he stated that he is looking forward to cutting off head of the CM.

Summary : It was contended by the petitioner that he was merely expressing disaffection towards the governemtn and did not call for a violent overthrow of the government. The public prosecutor contended that the Judicial officer was fully aware of the consequences of his statements. He also submitted that under Rule 15 to 17 of AP Civil Services rules o serving officer of the Government can speak about any aspect relating to the functioning of the oo Government or make any comments on superior officers except with the permission of the State Government. However, the court granted him bail observing that the crime is based on a statement that is said to have been made in a television debate that is recorded and cannot be altered or tampered with and further, a period of 60 days has already elapsed, and as such, the question of any further tampering with or affecting the investigation would not arise.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Plea to direct state to issue guidelines to stop police from sharing information with media
Court/state/FIR details : Karnataka HC
Current status : Plea granted
Brief Facts : The petition contends that there are no provisions to stop police from doing this. It prays that there is a need to make such publication an offence in order to deter media from doing it.

Summary : The court directed he state government to issue comprehensive directions to the State police, to ensure that before investigation is completed no information is divulged by the police to the media about the ongoing probe.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : UAPA
Name of the provision : Section 15, 17, 18 and 43D
Instant : Asif Tanha, Natasha Narwal and Devangana kalita Bail application [update on a previous entry]
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Bail granted
Brief Facts : Asif Tanha, Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita were arrested as part of the alleged conspiracy in the Delhi Riots of 2020. His bail had been denied before and this appeal was filed.

Summary : While granting bail to Asif the court observed that no prima facie case has been made out under the said sections of UAPA, therefore section 43D does not apply. While deciding the issue for section 15, 17 and 18 court held that the term terrorist act used in UAPA even though somewhat vague must be construed strictly. It must partake the essential condition of terrorism and it cannot be applied casually to criminal acts. It was also contended that the court must consider bail under section 437 of Crpc and not 439 when an appeal is made under section 21. But the court held that once it is clear that section 43D would not apply then the court is entitled to consider bail under section 439.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Civil Defamation suit against TheCognate; T.V. TODAY NETWORK LIMITED v. THE COGNATE & ORS.
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Interim relief allowed
Brief Facts : TheCognate had posted an infographic alleging India Today News Channel of having a contrasting and biased approach in its reporting against Muslim community concerning COVID protocol violations relating to religious gatherings at Kumbh Mela and Mecca Masjid. Aggrieved by this a defamation suit was filed by the news channel.

Summary : Court allowed interim relief to the plaintiff and directed them to block its posts on twitter and other social media handles. It observed that such accusations “can serve as a death knell for a fair news channel”. It further held that “the depiction in the infographic being ex-facie untrue, evidently defamatory, will continue to damage the reputation of the Plaintiff, if not ordered to be taken down."

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : IT Rules
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Objectionable posts on Hindu Goddesses on Instagram
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Matter posted to 16th August
Brief Facts : A petition was filed objecting to the publication of "highly obnoxious and objectionable posts" on Hindu goddesses on Instagram by a user. These posts were lated taken down in accordance with the IT Rules.

Summary : The court issued notice to Facebook and Instagram.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Sections 153A, 504, 505, 34
Instant : Speech causing post poll violence
Court/state/FIR details : Calcutta HC
Current status : Matter posted to 18th June
Brief Facts : On March 7, 2021 Mithun Chakraborty an actor/ politician, while giving a speech made certain remarks like I will hit you here and the body will fall in the crematorium, just one snakebite and you will become a photograph which are famous film dialogues. On May 06 an FIR was filed against him by TMC alleging that these dialogues caused post poll violence. A petition was then filed by him for quashing the FIR.

Summary : HC asked the petitioner to make himself available for interrogation and posted the matter for 18th june.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Sections 147, 148, 149, 395, 397, 332, 353, 504, 506, 427, 336, 307, 34 of I.P.C
Instant : Coverage of irregularity in voting ; Shiv Prasad @ Shiv Prasad Harijan & Anr. v. State Of U.P. & Anr.
Court/state/FIR details : Allahbad HC
Current status : Bail granted
Brief Facts : On April 19 2021 election of gram panchayat was scheduled and the petitioner was covering the news at the polling booth and that hereported the news about irregularity on the polling booth by the authorities and influential people through the Twitter handle. It was submitted that this caused annoyance to the authorities due to which this FIR was filed.

Summary : The court granted the interim relief of bail and observed that considering the facts and circumstances it was evident thatmismanagement of the authorities was flashed on Twitter by applicant No.1 who is the journalist and other applicant is related to him.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Civil defamation; T V TODAY NETWORK LIMITED v. TRACTOR 2 TWITTER & ORS
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Matter posted to 27th July
Brief Facts : Tractor2Twitter is self proclaimed community of individuals interested in Farmers protest. They had made certain defamatory remarks on TV channel AajTAk. Aggrieved by those AajTak moved the HC.

Summary : HC held that the tweets and other posts made on other social media platforms were prima facie defamatory. It directed Tractor2Twitter to not post such remarks on twitter and also directed twitter, Facebook and Instagram to take off such posts.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 500
Instant : Criminal Defamation Rohit Jha v. Dr. J. A. Jayalal, National President, Indian Medical Association
Court/state/FIR details : Additional Sessions Court
Current status : Not Provided
Brief Facts : In an article dated March 30, 2021 published in Nation World News and in the TV debate of Jayalal with Baba Ramdev on news channels recently, it was alleged that defamatory remarks were made against Hindu religion. The accused made remarks like “Christianity and Allopathy are the same and is the gift by western world. “

Summary : It was contended that the accused was using his position to defame Hindu religion and propagate Christianity. Court directed him to not use IMA as a platform for propagating any religion and rather to concentrate on welfare of medical fraternity.

Link : Link

Read more

Jun-2021

 
 
Act : IPC, IT Act, Disaster Management Act
Name of the provision : Section 419 (Punishment for cheating by personation), 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of the IPC, and Section 66 (d) of the Information Technology Act and Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act.
Instant : FIR on Zee News journalist
Court/state/FIR details : HP HC
Current status : Not Provided
Brief Facts : A Zee News Journalist was conducting a “reality check” on e-pass registration for inter state movement in Himachal Pradesh when he was booked under the given sections.

Summary : The petitioner contended that he was being a responsible journalist and acting in larger interest of public. It was also contended that such an action is a violation of freedom of press under article 19(1)(a). The court granted the petitioner interim protection from arrest or anyother coercive action from police till next hearing.

Link : Link

Read more

May-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Sections 153A, 504, 506, 153B, 505(2) of IPC
Instant : FIR on advocate for article on covid
Court/state/FIR details : Additional Sessions Court
Current status : Anticipatory bail granted
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed against the petitioner on 12th May for publishing a defamatory article in 'Prajavani' kannada daily newspaper on 9.5.2021 in which a false, fictitious article was published. This was, it is alleged, done in furtherance to a conspiracy against the Prime Minister of India and CM of Karnataka and other ministers.

Summary : Court allowed the anticipatory bail and gave a direction that Petitioner shall not participate directly or indirectly in any manner in publication of any type of articles in social media including newspapers which could cause provocation for breach of peace and tranquility of the society. The court also observed that the newspapers must verify all the facts in an article before publishing them. Especially related to Covid 19 considering the prevailing circumstances.

Link : Link

Read more

May-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and IT Act
Name of the provision : Section 505(2) IPC and Section 67A I.T. Act
Instant : Obscene post on Facebook Smiriti Irani
Court/state/FIR details : Allahbad HC
Current status : Anticipatory Bail denied
Brief Facts : An FIR was filed against a college teacher and head of department for posting obscene post in relation Union Minister Smriti Irani. It was contended by the accused that the FIR was filed to falsely implicate him in the matter due to animosity with the informant, who is a Zila Mantri of the Bharatiya Janata Party. It was also submitted that the Facebook account of the accused was hacked.

Summary : The court denied the bail and observed that prima facie the post was made the accused as no material was placed to show that his account was hacked.

Link : Link

Read more

May-2021

 
 
Act : Copyright Act
Name of the provision : Section 14
Instant : Circulation of e newspaper on WhatsApp and Telegram
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Ex-parte injunction granted and notice issued to respondents
Brief Facts : The petitioners Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd alleged that their e news (TOI and Navbharat Times) paper is circulated on whatsapp and telegram. It is made available for illegal and unauthorised download. Newspaper being original literary work under copyright act is entitled to copyright protection. Thus such circulation of their paper amounts an infringement of their copyright.

Summary : The court passed an ex parte ad interim injunction and observed that "The plaintiff being an exclusive owner of the copyright in the said literary work, therefore, possesses all rights to it in any material forms. Defendants are illegally circulating copies of e-newspaper owned by the plaintiff which violate the rights of the plaintiff." Court also issued notice to WhatsApp, telegram adn certain individuals who are allegedly administrators of various groups on the platforms and are indulged in sharing of the said e-papers.

Link : Link

Read more

May-2021

 
 
Act : Copyright Act
Name of the provision : Section 14
Instant : Piracy of hindi movie Radhe: Your most wanted Bhai
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Interim relief granted
Brief Facts : Zee Entertainment Enterprises moved the HC alleging that several pirated copies of the film, as well as various video clips were being circulated to the public at large for unauthorised viewing, download and storage, and that as the exclusive licensee and holder of various rights in the film, its interests were severely prejudiced due to such piracy. It was also put forth that WhatsApp terms and condition mention that its services cannot be used for violating IP rights, therefore such accoutns must be suspended for breaching T&C.

Summary : Court ordered a blanket protection against any form of piracy of the movie, and has restrained any unauthorised storing, reproducing, communicating, disseminating, circulating, copying, selling, offering for sale or making available copies of the film on WhatsApp or any other platform.

Link : Link

Read more

May-2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Media access to live hearings
Court/state/FIR details : Gujarat HC
Current status : Filing of application
Brief Facts : An application has been filed with the gujarat HC to grant access to virtual hearings. It has cited freedom of press to cover court proceedings and a recent SC judgement Election Commission of India v. MR Vijaya Bhaskar which upheld thefreedom of media to report the oral observations and discussions made by judges and lawyers during a court proceeding.

Summary : -

Link : Link

Read more

Apr-2021

 
 
Act : IPC and UAPA
Name of the provision : Sections 188, 120(b),121,121(A),124(A) and Section 10, 13, 15, 18 of UAPA
Instant : FIR filed for raising slogans
Court/state/FIR details : Madras HC
Current status : Bail granted
Brief Facts : The incident took place in 2019 when the petitioners raised slogans in the praise of deceased moist leader, who is the husband of one of the petitioners and they said to have raised slogans against the Government and that there was no allegation of any violence.

Summary : The court granted bail and observed that considering the fact that the incident took place in 2019 and the petitioners have suffered incarceration for that period the court is inclined to grant bail.

Link : Link

Read more

Apr-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 124A
Instant : Sedition charges over a Facebook post
Court/state/FIR details : Gauhati HC
Current status : Bail granted
Brief Facts : On 5th April 2021 the accused had posted a Facebook post stating that "A person who draws salary for his service cannot be considered to be a martyr/swahid if he dies on duty. If it is so, then, an electrical worker who dies in an electric shock should also be considered as Swahid. News media, do not make the public emotional." This was after 22 jawans were killed during anti naxal operation in Chattisghar on 3rd April. An FIR was filed against her under section 124A.

Summary : The court granted her bail stating that the statement prima facie appears to be her personal views. It was also held that due to the second wave of covid 19 further continuation of her detention may not be necessary in the interest of ongoing investigation.

Link : Link

Read more

Apr-2021

 
 
Act : Constitution of India
Name of the provision : Article 19(1)(a)
Instant : Strike by bus drivers union in Karnataka
Court/state/FIR details : Karnataka HC
Current status : Notice issued
Brief Facts : Karnataka State Road Transport Employees League called for an indefinite strike of employees from April 7. The strike was called due to unmet demand of treating all employees of road transport corporation as government employees.

Summary : Court issued notice. It also observed that this is the worse time to strike. The question of theri demads being legitimate is not to be discussed. The question here is whether the strike is legal. The court observed that apart from legality or illegality in present difficult situations placed due to Covid-19, such strikes will violate Fundamental Rights of citizens under Article 21, of the Constitution of India.

Link : Link

Read more

Apr-2021

 
 
Act : IPC, Prevention of Damage to Public Property and Arms Act
Name of the provision : sec. 109, 114, 147, 148, 149, 153-A, 186, 212, 353, 395, 427, 435, 436, 452/, 454, 505 , 34 and 120-B of IPC along with sec. 3 and 4 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and sec. 25 and 27 of Arms Act.
Instant : FIR in delhi riots case
Court/state/FIR details : Additional Sessions court
Current status : Bail Granted
Brief Facts : He was arrested in relation to Delhi riots near Chand Bagh Pulia on 24th February 2020. He was arrested 1st october 2020. Another FIR has been lodged against him in larger conspiracy case under UAPA.

Summary : The court granted him bail observing that Khalid cannot be permitted to remain behind bars in this case on the basis of such asketchy material against him, the Court also went ahead to observe that chargesheeting Khalid in the present case on the basis of such an insignificant material was unwarranted.

Link : Link

Read more

Apr-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 499, 500, 501 & 505(1)
Instant : Criminal Defamation
Court/state/FIR details : Chattisghar HC
Current status : FIR Quashed
Brief Facts : FIRs were lodged against BJP National Spokesperson Dr. Sambit Patra and Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga. This was done for making derogatory remarks against Congress party and its leaders.

Summary : The court quashed the FIR.

Link : Link

Read more

Apr-2021

 
 
Act : Constitution of India
Name of the provision : Article 19
Instant : CAA protest
Court/state/FIR details : Madaras HC
Current status : FIR quashed
Brief Facts : On 12thMarch 2020, when the Special Sub-Inspector of Police (2nd respondent), was on his routine rounds, he found the petitioner along with others was protesting against the amendments made to the Citizenship Laws. It was alleged that the petitioner and others by their act had not only committed public nuisance but also caused hindrance to the free flow of vehicular traffic on the road.

Summary : Court noted that no untoward incident had taken place. It further remarked that Constitution of India gives its citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression, assemble peacefully and without arms, to form Associations and Unions and to move freely throughout the Territory of India under Article 19 (1) (a), (b), (c) and (d) of the Constitution of India. Therefore a peaceful protest cannot be held to be illegal.

Link : Link

Read more

Apr-2021

 
 
Act : IT Rules 2021
Name of the provision : Not Provided
Instant : Constitutional validity of IT rules challenged
Court/state/FIR details : Kerala HC
Current status : Not Provided
Brief Facts : The petition has been filed by a FOSS programmer who works with other volunteers to maintain FOSS domains such as fsci.com and codema.in and are part of the Free Software Community of India (FSCI). These domains and services provide a platform to users to post content and fall within the definition of intermediaries in terms of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act).

Summary : Not Provided

Link : Link

Read more

Apr-2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : Section 153A
Instant : FIR filed for hate speech
Court/state/FIR details : Allahbad HC
Current status : Petition denied
Brief Facts : Nadeem, an active member of Popular Front of India (PFI), was booked by the UP Police under Section 153-A IPC for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, etc. It was alleged that Nadeem was propagating that since the foundation laying ceremony of Temple at Ayodhya is being done at the land of mosque, therefore, every Muslim has to come forward to protect the site of Babri Masjid.

Summary : The court denied the bail and observed that denied the anticipatory bail plea of a man accused of trying to promote enmity between two religious communities by spreading propaganda about the foundation laying ceremony of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya.

Link : Link

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : S.153A
Instant : Mohammad Nadeem v. State of UP [Bail No. – 8591/2020]
Court/state/FIR details : Lucknow Bench, All. HC
Current status : Bail application was denied.
Brief Facts : Mr. Nadeem, who was an active member of the controversial Popular Front of India [PFA], who was accused of making inflammatory speeches likely to affect communal harmony, pertaining to Muslims protecting the Babri Masjid given that the foundation stone for the Ram temple had been laid there. An FIR was lodged for promoting enmity between 2 religious groups, and Mr. Nadeem sought anticipatory bail.

Summary : The court examined S.153A’s contents and stated that there had to be an “intent” to precipitate disorder between at least two communities.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/allahabad-hc-denies-pre-arrest-bail-to-man-for-allegedly-spreading-propaganda-against-ayodhya-ram-temple-391581.pdf

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IT Rules, 2021
Name of the provision : Part III
Instant : Writ petition Challenging the 2021 IT Rules
Court/state/FIR details : Karnataka HC
Current status : The petition was adjourned by 2 weeks
Brief Facts : An NGO named “Truth Pro Foundation India”, that runs the Kannada newspaper Pratidhvani, instituted a writ petition before the Karnataka High Court challenging the vires of the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which intend to impose restrictions on digital news portals. The grounds on which the invalidity was argued included vague words in the code of ethics, the Rules being in contravention of the powers provided by the parent statute, among others. The challenge is only restricted to digital news portals, and not to curated digital content.

Summary : -

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/kannada-news-portal-pratidhvani-moves-karnataka-high-court-challenge-new-it-rule-171983?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 500
Instant : Mr. MJ Akbar’s defamation proceedings against Ms. Priya Ramani
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : The matter was adjourned to May 5, 2021.
Brief Facts : A criminal defamation case was filed by former minister MJ Akbar against journalist Ms. Priya Ramani, after she accused him of sexual harassment in an article. A Delhi trial court had previously, in Feb 2021, acquitted Ms. Ramani of the offence, stating that the right to reputation could not be protected by sacrificing the right to dignity. Against this, Mr. Akbar appealed before the Delhi High Court.

Summary : -

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/mj-akbar-priya-ramani-acquittal-criminal-defamation-delhi-high-court-adjourns-hearing-171708

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : UAPA
Name of the provision : S.43D
Instant : Asif Tanha’s appeal against rejection of bail
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : The Delhi High Court reserved orders in this matter.
Brief Facts : Mr. Tanha, a student of Jamia Milia Islamia, was arrested as part of the alleged conspiracy in the Delhi Riots of 2020. The Karkardooma Court, Delhi, in October 2020, denied him bail, stating that he helped orchestrate a traffic jam in Muslim-dominated areas to try and “overthrow” the government. Noting that there were ‘reasonable grounds’ that the allegations against Mr. Tanha were prima facie true, the Court had observed that the freedom to protest couldn’t be used as a ruse for indulging in conspiracy to create riots. The present appeal before the High Court was a challenge to this decision.

Summary : -

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/delhi-riotsdelhi-high-court-asif-iqbal-tanhas-appeal-against-rejection-of-his-bail-by-delhi-court-171355?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC IT Act
Name of the provision : 153, 509, 228, 120B IPC 67-A IT Act
Instant : Criminal proceedings instituted against ex-Justice Karnan CS Karnan v. The State
Court/state/FIR details : Madras HC
Current status : –
Brief Facts : Mr. Karnan uploaded several videos online in which he was seen abusing various judges, even going to the extent of making remarks on sexual violence on judges’ women relations. Several FIRs under the IPC, the IT Act and the IRWA were filed against him. He was arrested in respect of this matter. This was a S.439 CrPC application seeking bail for the offences. Mr. Karnan stated that the videos were uploaded when he was facing mental depression and his mind was unstable, and therefore he regretted doing the same now. In Feb 2021, the Madras HC had rejected this ground and refused bail. Once again, the petition for bail was now filed.

Summary : In the bail petitions, Mr. Karnan, submitted an affidavit that he would not indulge in making such remarks or intervene in the investigations, and if he does so, the bail could be cancelled without providing notice. Besides, he had some health complications from COVID-19. The Court, therefore, accepted his plea and released him on bail after furnishing bond worth Rs.50,000.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/karnan-bail-order-madras-high-court-390959.pdf

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC National Security Alert
Name of the provision : 153A, 153B, 505(2) IPC
Instant : Kafeel Khan’s Prosecution Dr. Kafeel @ Dr. Kafeel Ahmad Khan v. State of UP and Anr.
Court/state/FIR details : Allahabad High Court
Current status : Posted for hearing on April 6.
Brief Facts : Mr. Khan was booked under the National Security Act for his allegedly hateful remarks during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests, and was arrested. In September 2020, he was released, with the Allahabad HC noting that the speech had no instance of Mr. Khan intending to provoke violence or promote hatred. The Supreme Court agreed with the High Court in an SLP preferred by the UP state government. Currently, Mr. Khan filed an application under S 482 CrPC seeking quashing of the order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate in July 2020, taking cognizance of the charge-sheet filed by the police mentioning offences of promoting religious enmity and assertions prejudicial to national integration, among others. Mr. Khan contended that there was no sanction sought from the Central government, rendering the taking of cognizance a nullity, nor was there an offence made out. Mr. Khan sought the quashing of the entire charge-sheet and criminal proceedings against him.

Summary : The Allahabad HC issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh state government seeking its response on the petition filed by Mr. Khan, posting the matter for further hearing on April 6.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/anti-caa-speech-at-amu-dr-kafeel-khan-files-plea-to-quash-criminal-case-allahabad-high-court-seeks-up-govts-response-171643

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : M Shamoon v. Arnab Goswami
Court/state/FIR details : Saket Court, Delhi
Current status : The summons to Mr. Goswami were issued for 27 May 2021.
Brief Facts : A civil defamation case was filed by the Popular Front of India against the Republic TV Channel, and in it claimed that Republic allegedly published a fake/doctored news video clip where the PFI was represented as promoted seditious activities such as violence against the state. They claimed the loss of reputation due to such news reporting. It sought a mandatory injunction seeking the removal of the videos that were uploaded on social media platforms.

Summary : The Delhi Court issued summons to Arnab Goswami, CEO, Republic TV.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/delhi-court-issues-notice-to-republic-tv-on-defamation-suit-filed-by-ex-govt-officer-390697.pdf

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC Passport Act
Name of the provision : S. 500 S. 10
Instant : Soumen Sarkar v. State of Tripura and others
Court/state/FIR details : Tripura High Court
Current status : The court stated that when the petitioner arrived in Agartala, the he would comply with the investigating authorities.
Brief Facts : Civil Writ Petition filed in the Tripura High Court. The petitioner was a non-resident of India, and the Editor of an online news portal titled ‘Tripura Infoway’, which was registered in the US. A lookout circular was issued by the Bureau of Immigration and Communication in 2018, written by the SI of police, West Tripura, so as to cancel his passport. Cognizance of a complaint accusing him of criminal defamation [one complaint was filed by the CM of Tripura] was also taken by the Sessions Judge at West Tripura. All this, he claimed, was due to his news portal which exposed stories in their true form. The respondents claimed that his case fell within S.10(3)(e) and (h) of the Passport Act.

Summary : The court noted that the Lookout Circular shouldn’t have been issued give that he was a resident of the US and didn’t deliberately leave India to avoid arrest. There was no case under S.10 to impound the passport, and the S.41A notice under the CrPC which the police claimed the petitioner had defied [therefore forcing them to issue the LOC] couldn’t have been complied with due to the COVID-19 situation, the court noted.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/press-freedom-tripura-hc-390645.pdf

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC, Arms Act, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, etc.
Name of the provision : IPC – 147-149, 120B, 269, 279, 353 etc. Ss.25, 27 etc Arms Act. S.3 PDPP
Instant : Preet Pal Singh v. State
Court/state/FIR details : Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi
Current status : Bail application denied.
Brief Facts : This was a bail application. The applicant was seeking anticipatory bail u/s. 438 who was booked during the Republic Day violence. He was seen brandishing a sword near the Red Fort’s parapet but he claimed he was practising ‘martial arts’, and that every citizen had the right to celebrate how they wished to.

Summary : The court rejected this argument as prima facie unconvincing and stated that the liberty to do what one wishes was fettered by the law, and that the custodial interrogation was important to bring to light certain facts. Thus, the anticipatory bail was denied.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/republic-day-violence-delhi-court-denies-bail-to-man-who-carried-big-sword-at-red-fort-172071

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 153A, 504, 108
Instant : Kangana Ranaut’s petition in re Farm Laws tweets [Update on a previously mentioned entry]
Court/state/FIR details : Karnataka HC
Current status : The matter was thus remanded to the trial court for it to decide if the complaint disclosed an offence.
Brief Facts : Ms. Ranaut’s tweets were the subject of a complaint in Karnataka as well. A private complaint was filed in Tumkur claiming that her tweets, which said that the people spreading ‘misinformation’ about the farm laws were ‘terrorists’, intended to incite inter-group hatred. The JMFC, Tumkur, granted leave to register the complaint under S.156 of the CrPC. Currently, Ms. Ranaut filed the petition before the HC to quash this complaint/FIR.

Summary : - The Karnataka High Court overturned the order passed by the JMFC granting leave. It noted that the JMFC had acted ‘mechanically’, without ascertaining if the offences were made out. During the proceedings, the judge orally rebuked Ms. Ranaut, stating that celebrities had to be careful in making such statements.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/kangana-ranaut-moves-karnataka-high-court-to-quash-fir-on-tweet-against-farmers-protest-170509?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC, Copy-right Act
Name of the provision : 406, 120, IPC S.51 – Copyright Act
Instant : FIR against Kangana Ranaut for copyright violation in Manikarnika: The Legend of Didda. [Mentioned in ‘art’]
Court/state/FIR details : Metropolitan Court, Bandra
Current status : Pending invesigation
Brief Facts : FIR was registered based on a private complaint made to a magistrate under the sections relating to criminal breach of trust and copyright infringement. The VP of Zee Network claimed a copyright violation against Ms. Ranaut when she indicated her intention to begin filming the Manikarnika sequel.

Summary : -

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/ambani-explosives-scare-thane-sessions-court-denies-interim-protection-to-api-sachin-waze-in-suv-car-owners-murder-171127?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 499, 500
Instant : Defamation proceedings against Kangana Ranaut by Javed Akhtar
Court/state/FIR details : Dindoshi Civil and Sessions Court
Current status : Pending hearing on March 15, 2021.
Brief Facts : Lyricist Javed Akhtar filed a defamation suit against Ms. Ranaut for her remarks against him on a TV show. The Metropolitan Magistrate issued a bailable warrant against her. The present application for revision filed in the Dindoshi Civil and Sessions Court pleads that the procedure under S.200 CrPC of examining eye-witnesses before issuing process was not adhered to.

Summary : -

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/kangana-ranaut-javed-akhtar-defamation-case-sessions-court-metropolitan-magistrate-court-171047

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : Cable Television Network Act, Cable Television Network Rules
Name of the provision : S.6A;Rule 6
Instant : Ramesh Jarkiholi sex-tape scandal
Court/state/FIR details : Karnataka HC
Current status : Notice had been issued by the Civil Court returnable on March 31.
Brief Facts : A PIL was filed by an advocate in light of the sex-tapes scandal implicating Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi. It was claimed that publishing such videos, etc., violated unreasonably the privacy of the Minister. It also claimed that Rule 6 of the CTN Rules was violated by the publication of such obscene content. On March 6, the City Civil Court had also granted an order against publishing defamatory content by 68 media companies against 6 ministers of the Ruling Government.

Summary : The HC has ordered via an and-interim order news channels to adhrered to the Programme Code under S.5 of the CTN Act and Rule 6 of the CTN Rules.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/defamation-390415.pdf

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 153A, 295A, 505(1)(b)
Instant : Kangana Ranuat’s controversial tweets on against Sikh community
Court/state/FIR details : Metropolitan Magistrate Delhi
Current status : Matter listed on 24 April 2021.
Brief Facts : The President of the Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee filed a complaint before the police station against Ms. Ranaut’s controversial tweets during the Farm Laws protest. The complaint alleged that the tweets promoted enmity between groups and was made with an intent to spark religious outrage, due to her mentioning phrases like ‘Khalistani terrorists’ etc in her tweet.

Summary : The MM sought for the Action Taken Report from the Delhi Police in this matter.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/plea-for-fir-against-kangana-ranauts-tweets-defamatory-to-sikh-community-delhi-court-delhi-police-171002

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 499, 500
Instant : Nikhil Dwivedi’s controversial remarks against Kamal R Khan Nikhil Dwivedi .. v/s. Kamaal Rashid Khan & Ors. INTERIM APPLICATION (L) NO. 4786 OF 2021 IN SUIT (L) NO.4783 OF 2021
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : Mr. Khan has been provided the liberty to file a response after serving due notice on Mr. Dwivedi. Reply has to be filed in 4 weeks from 3 March 2021, and the defendants had to state whether they accept the Court’s orders.
Brief Facts : The petitioner, who is an actor-cum-producer, filed a plea citing that the tweets and reviews uploaded by Mr. Khan in September 2020 through Jan 2021 were defamatory.

Summary : The Bombay High Court granted an interim injunction in Mr. Dwivedi’s favour preventing Mr. Khan from publishing any defamatory reviews/other content against him.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/nikhil-dwivedi-krk-bombay-hc-390372.pdf

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 153A, 295 S. 66A, 67
Instant : The ‘Tandav’ Controversy Aparna Purohit v. State of UP and Anr. CR.P.C. No. - 1794 of 2021
Court/state/FIR details : Allahabad HC
Current status : The Lucknow police has been directed to continue investigations and the matter was listed for 6 April 2021.
Brief Facts : Ms. Purohit is Amazon Prime Video’s India Head, which came out with the controversial TV series Tandav. The show was alleged to have depicted Hindu gods in a poor light, for which she was booked under offences relating to cyber terrorism and transmitting obscene content under the IT Act, and for promoting inter-group enmity and religious hatred under the IPC. Previously in Feb 2021, she had been denied anticipatory bail by the High Court on grounds that, similar to the Munawar Farooqui incident, the ‘liberal tradition’ of India was abused by such people to hurt the religious sentiments of the majority religious community. Later, the High Court had ordered the State government against taking any coercive action against Ms. Purohit. She had also obtained interim protection orders from the Supreme Court against another FIR registered against her over the same issue.

Summary : The HC extended interim protection from arrest to Ms. Purohit.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/tandav-row-allahabad-high-court-extends-interim-protection-from-arrest-for-amazon-content-head-aparna-purohit-in-lucknow-fir-till-april-6-390358.pdf

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IT Act
Name of the provision : 153A, 295 S. 66A, 67
Instant : The ‘Tandav’ Controversy Aparna Purohit v. State of UP and Anr. CR.P.C. No. - 1794 of 2021
Court/state/FIR details : Allahabad HC
Current status : The Lucknow police has been directed to continue investigations and the matter was listed for 6 April 2021.
Brief Facts : Ms. Purohit is Amazon Prime Video’s India Head, which came out with the controversial TV series Tandav. The show was alleged to have depicted Hindu gods in a poor light, for which she was booked under offences relating to cyber terrorism and transmitting obscene content under the IT Act, and for promoting inter-group enmity and religious hatred under the IPC. Previously in Feb 2021, she had been denied anticipatory bail by the High Court on grounds that, similar to the Munawar Farooqui incident, the ‘liberal tradition’ of India was abused by such people to hurt the religious sentiments of the majority religious community. Later, the High Court had ordered the State government against taking any coercive action against Ms. Purohit. She had also obtained interim protection orders from the Supreme Court against another FIR registered against her over the same issue.

Summary : The HC extended interim protection from arrest to Ms. Purohit.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/tandav-row-allahabad-high-court-extends-interim-protection-from-arrest-for-amazon-content-head-aparna-purohit-in-lucknow-fir-till-april-6-390358.pdf

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 153A
Instant : Sharjeel Usmani and the Elgaar Parishad
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : -
Brief Facts : An FIR was registered against Aligarh Muslim University ex-student Sharjeel Usmani for his speech which allegedly promoted enmity between groups during the Elgar Parishad and had been offensive to the Hindus. The Elgar Parishad later resulted in riots and other controversies. Mr. Usmani filed a petition seeking the quashing the adjournment of the FIR. He claimed that the speech made by him was taken out of context and that the FIR was lodged to stifle free speech.

Summary : The State assured that no coercive action would be instituted against Mr. Osmani until 15 March 2021. The court also ordered Mr. Usmani to cooperate with the investigating agencies.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/bombay-high-court-sharjeel-usmani-elgaar-parishad-case-170944?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 124A
Instant : Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk in the ‘Toolkit’ Case
Court/state/FIR details : Additional Sessions Judge Delhi
Current status : The matter is to be heard on 15 March 2021.
Brief Facts : Both Ms. Nikita and Mr. Shantanu were considered to be prime participants having editorial access to a ‘toolkit’ Google Document which depicted the course of action that the farmers’ protest movement would take over a period of time. The government claimed that they were working in cahoots with pro-Khalistani and secessionist forces like the Poetic Justice Foundation. They were booked for, inter alia, sedition. They had applied for transit ancitipatory bails which had expired. On 25 February, Mr. Shantanu had obtained interim protection from being arrested. On 2nd March, Ms. Jacob’s anticipatory bail application was postponed.

Summary : The court adjourned the hearing in respect of the anticipatory bail applications; however, their interim protection till 15 March, such that no coercive action could be taken against them.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/toolkit-case-delhi-court-extends-interim-protection-for-shantanu-muluk-nikita-jacob-till-march-15-170930

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : Press Council of India Act
Name of the provision : Section 14
Instant : Hindustan Media Ventures Limited. v. Press Council of India and ors.
Court/state/FIR details : High Court of Delhi
Current status : The matter was listed for hearing on the 2nd of April, 2021.
Brief Facts : The Press Council of India had issued a notification to the Government and its various departments, stating that Government agencies would be proscribed from publishing advertisements in the newspaper owned Hindustan Media Ventures Limited [HMVL]. HMVL complained, alleging that this amounted to a ‘censuring’ of its free-speech rights, The PCI claimed that HMVL had failed to comply with the Norms of Journalistic Conduct that it had framed, while HMVL claimed that it had complied with the same, and that the power to issue these guidelines was beyond the power guaranteed by Section 14 of the PCI Act.

Summary : The HC stayed the PCI’s notification. It noted that if the effect of the notification was to ban all Government ads from publication in the HMVL, then the proportionality of the move had to be ascertained. This could otherwise be detrimental to the financial health of HMVL and curb its right under Art. 19(1)(a), the court agrees with HMVL’s submissions.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/hindustan-times-delhi-high-court-pci-390150.pdf

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Rakul Preet Singh’s Case
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi High Court
Current status : -
Brief Facts : Actress Rakul Preet Singh was the subject of what she claimed was a ‘malicious’ campaign when news reports emerged linking her to the consumption of drugs in the aftermath of the death by suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Previously, the Court had directed the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to file a ‘status report’. Pursuant to this, the Ministry ensured that the News Broadcasting Association, which was a consortium of news channels, prepared a report on this matter. It also ordered these news channels to comply with the Programme Code present in the Cable TV Networks Act of 1995.

Summary : The Court on 4 March directed the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to proceed against those news channels that had violated the Programme Code.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/delhi-high-court-rakul-preet-singh-news-broadcasting-standards-authority-nbsa-170726?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : MakeMyTrip Private Ltd. v. Happy Easy Go Private Ltd. – CS [Comm] 916/2018
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi High Court
Current status : -
Brief Facts : MakeMyTrip [MMT] had filed a plaint in 2018 requesting the court to grant an injunction against the usage of the keywords that belonged to MMT by another such booking website named ‘HappyEasyGo’ [HEG]. The order was to continue until further directions. However, when HEG repeatedly violated this order, following which MMT filed a contempt notice against HEG

Summary : The High Court ordered Google to suspend the Ad Words account of HEG due to this violation.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/delhi-high-court-makemytripmmt-happyeasygocom-170680

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 120A, 120B, 153A
Instant : Toolkit Case – Subham Kar Chaudhuri
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC [Goa Bench]
Current status : Effective until 13 March. On March 13, the Delhi Court extended by the interim protection by 3 more days.
Brief Facts : Similar facts as the Nikita Jacob-Shantanu Muluk toolkit case. Mr. Chaudhuri sought for transit anticipatory bail since the Delhi Police had registered an FIR against him under provisions relating to sedition, conspiracy and perpetrating hatred among groups.

Summary : Court notes that a case for ‘apprehension of arrest’ was clearly rendered by Mr. Chaudhuri’s counsel. Thus, a 10 day transit anticipatory bail was granted so that Mr. Chaudhuri could approach the relevant magistrate in Delhi to obtain anticipatory bail.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/goa-based-activist-subham-kar-chandhuri-granted-10-days-transit-anticipatory-bail-by-bombay-high-court-in-toolkit-case-170642

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : UAPA
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Dr. Varavara Rao’s Bail
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : Deadline extended until 5 April.
Brief Facts : Dr. Rao was arrested under the UAPA in connection with allegedly being one of the conspirators behind the Bhima-Koregaon violence. In custody from 2018, he was released on bail previously due to his illness, in Feb 2021. However, he was asked to furnish certain solvent sureties and Rs. 50000 as cash surety. He sought a plea claiming that due to the pandemic, obtaining the solvent sureties was difficult, and therefore sought an extension in procuring the same.

Summary : Due to the pandemic, the court accepted the request made by Dr. Rao’s counsel and granted additional time until 5 April, 2021, to furnish the solvent sureties. Otherwise, it would amount to denying

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/bhima-koregaon-bombay-high-court-bail-condition-varavara-rao-release-on-temporary-bail-170544?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : WhatsApp’s privacy policy
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Within 4 weeks, the reply is to be filed.
Brief Facts : A writ was filed before the Delhi HC challenging WhatsApp’s introduction of the new privacy policy.

Summary : The petitioner claimed that the court had issued notice in another similar petition, to which the court asked why there was a separate petition filed now. The court was not willing to give notice to the government given its assurance that the new Personal Data Protection Bill would protect against such privacy policies. Saying thus, it granted four weeks to the Union Government to file a reply in this petition.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/delhi-high-court-plea-against-whatsapps-privacy-policy-right-to-privacy-170534

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 153A, 504, 108
Instant : Kangana Ranaut’s petition in re Farm Laws tweets
Court/state/FIR details : Karnataka HC
Current status : The petition is expected to be taken up in hearing soon.
Brief Facts : Ms. Ranaut’s tweets were the subject of a complaint in Karnataka as well. A private complaint was filed in Tumkur claiming that her tweets, which said that the people spreading ‘misinformation’ about the farm laws were ‘terrorists’, intended to incite inter-group hatred. The JMFC, Tumkur, granted leave to register the complaint under S.156 of the CrPC. Currently, Ms. Ranaut filed the petition before the HC to quash this complaint/FIR.

Summary : -

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/kangana-ranaut-moves-karnataka-high-court-to-quash-fir-on-tweet-against-farmers-protest-170509?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 120B, 152, 269, etc.
Instant : Deep Sidhu and the Republic Day Violence
Court/state/FIR details : Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Tiz Hazari
Current status : -
Brief Facts : In connection with the Republic Day violence, Deep Sidhu was regarded as one the prime conspirators by the Delhi Police. Mr. Sidhu submitted a plea that he was being subject to media trials unfairly prejudicing his case. He also claimed that there was evidence establishing his innocence, and requested the investigating agencies to preserve and include on the record the material evidence relating to the case.

Summary : The court ordered the investigation to be fair and unbiased. It also stated that any misleading by Mr. Sidhu would mean that appropriate action could be taken.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/deep-sidhu-red-fort-violence-farmer-protests-proper-police-probe-170456

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : State v. Sandeep Singh Sidhu – FIR No. 96/21
Name of the provision : 120B, 152, 269, etc.
Instant : Deep Sidhu and the Republic Day Violence
Court/state/FIR details : Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Tiz Hazari
Current status : -
Brief Facts : In connection with the Republic Day violence, Deep Sidhu was regarded as one the prime conspirators by the Delhi Police. Mr. Sidhu submitted a plea that he was being subject to media trials unfairly prejudicing his case. He also claimed that there was evidence establishing his innocence, and requested the investigating agencies to preserve and include on the record the material evidence relating to the case.

Summary : The court ordered the investigation to be fair and unbiased. It also stated that any misleading by Mr. Sidhu would mean that appropriate action could be taken.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/deep-sidhu-red-fort-violence-farmer-protests-proper-police-probe-170456

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 153A, 295
Instant : The Munawar Farooqui case – Nalin Yadav and Sadakat Khan
Court/state/FIR details : Madhya Pradesh HC [Indore Bench]
Current status : -
Brief Facts : Mohd. Farooqui was arrested in January along with four others including Mr. Yadav and Mr. Khan, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments due to their remarks reportedly insulting Hindu Gods. In late January, the bail applications of Mr. Farooqui and Mr. Yadav were rejected by the High Court, stating that they had taken ‘undue advantage’ of religious sentiments. However, in early February, Mr. Farooqui received bail from the Supreme Court. On February 12, the two other co-accused in the case, Mr. Edwin Antony and Mr. Prakhar Vyas, were provided ad-interim bail after having cited the Farooqui Supreme Court judgement.

Summary : Ad-interim bail was granted to Mr. Yadav and Mr. Khan.

Link : livelaw.in/news-updates/munawar-faruqui-case-madhya-pradesh-high-court-grants-ad-interim-bail-to-nalin-yadav-and-sadakat-khan-170450?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Complaint against Aaj Tak for alleged misreporting of a tractor rally
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi HC
Current status : Adjourned to early March.
Brief Facts : Two people, including a former Member of Parliament, filed a writ petition before the HC claiming that the news channel, through its YouTube videos and its news channel, had depicted a certain tractor rally to be part of the farmers’ protests against the Farm Laws. The petition also requested the High Court to frame guidelines to help control fake news and hate speech.

Summary : The High Court adjourned the petition and stated that the plea would be considered in early March by another bench,

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/delhi-hc-pleas-against-aaj-tak-misreporting-tractor-rally-170432?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 307
Instant : Nodeep Kaur’s bail application
Court/state/FIR details : Punjab and Haryana HC
Current status : -
Brief Facts : Ms. Kaur, a labour-rights activist, was arrested for conducting what she claimed was a peaceful protest outside factory premises. She claimed that she was falsely implicated for the amount of mileage she had gained in popularizing the Farm Laws protest. She was nevertheless arrested for including attempt to murder and extortion. The HC received private complaints via email following which it took suo-motu cognisance of the matter in early February. She had also claimed that she was forced to undergo custodial torture, and was not even taken for medical examination.

Summary : Initially the HC adjourned the matter to 26 Feb 2021. Later, the HC granted bail to Ms. Kaur.

Link : https://indianexpress.com/article/india/nodeep-kaur-granted-bail-by-punjab-haryana-high-court-7205542/ https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/dalit-labour-activist-nodeep-kaur-bail-plea-punjab-haryana-high-court-adjourns-hearing-till-february-26-170315

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 295A, 153A
Instant : Tipu Jayanti Tweets by Mr. Hegde and Mr. Ravi
Court/state/FIR details : Karnataka HC
Current status : -
Brief Facts : In 2017, a newspaper article had indicated certain tweets by BJP MP Anantakumar Hegde and another leader, where they had claimed that they did not wish to be invited to the event marking the celebration of Tipu Jayanti, calling him a ‘mass rapist’ and a ‘brutal killer’. The complaint filed against these tweets claimed that the tweets were intended to cause hostilities among religions, and therefore had to be investigated. The Magistrate Court had rejected this application stating that the accused were government officials, and that prior sanction was needed from the government before taking cognizance of the offence.

Summary : The HC stated that there was no prior sanction required for offences under the IPC- it was required only for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Saying thus, it redirected the Magistrate to reconsider the matter afresh.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/tipu-jayanti-tweets-karnataka-high-court-a-complaints-anant-kumar-hegde-ct-ravi-170358?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 499, 500
Instant : Amit Shah’s allegedly defamatory remarks against TMC MP Abhishek Bannerjee
Court/state/FIR details : MP/MLA Special Court
Current status : -
Brief Facts : Ms. Mamata Bannerjee’s nephew, Mr. Abhishek Bannerjee, claimed in a complaint against Mr. Shah that he had made defamatory remarks against him in a rally held in West Bengal in 2018.

Summary : The MP/MLA court issued summons to Mr. Shah to appear either personally or through a representative before the court on February 22. However, since the summons was issued to the BJP Office in Kolkata instead of being directed to Mr. Shah’s residence in Delhi, the matter was redirected to the lower court, i.e., the Metropolitan Magistrate.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/amit-shah-abhishek-banerjee-defamation-trinamool-mp-summons-west-bengal-court-170146

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC, IT Act
Name of the provision : 153A, 295A; 67A of IT Act
Instant : Arrest of Writers/Directors of Mirzapur – Karan Anshuman and 3 Ors. V. State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors.
Court/state/FIR details : Allahabad HC
Current status : The investigation was directed to continue and the court said that full cooperation had to be extended by the petitioners, failing which the interim order protecting them from arrest could be vacated.
Brief Facts : An FIR was lodged against the producers of Mirzapur, an Amazon Prime Video original series, for allegedly portraying the city of Mirzapur in a bad light and for promoting illicit relationships, casteism, and other wrongful sentiments. The producers’ arrest was stayed by the High Court in January. Later the complainant sought to implead the writers and directors of Mirzapur and sent notices to them. The complainant, a resident of Mirzapur, had alleged in the FIR that his reputation was also hurt as he was now being referred to by the name of the antagonist in the series. The present writ was filed by the directors and writers seeking the quashing of the FIR filed against them. The petitioners claimed that it was a work of art protected under the free speech guarantee.

Summary : The High Court stayed the incarceration of the directors and the writers of the series, while at the same time issuing notice to the state government and the complainant, for their reply.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/mirzapur-allahabad-high-court-389407.pdf

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC, Indecent Representation of Women Act, IT Act
Name of the provision : 153A, 295 - IPC
Instant : Ban of Mirzapur series -
Court/state/FIR details : Supreme Court
Current status : -
Brief Facts : The writ petition stated that the cultural and the historical value of the town of Mirzapur was getting tarnished by the series’s depiction of the city, the ‘vulgar’ scenes it promoted, and the manner in which it showed its residents as vile, corrupt, adulterous and goon-like. This, the petition claimed, violated the Supreme Court’s directions to prevent the transmission of obscene material including sexually explicit content over media. Thus, the petition prayed for a ban on Mirzapur Season 2, its sequel and also sought for the SC’s discretion in setting up a pre-screening censorship committee for content released on OTT platforms.

Summary : The Supreme Court issued notice to the producers, Excel Entertainment, the Government and to Amazon Prime Video

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/supreme-court-mirzapur-ban-web-series-amazon-prime-video-168714

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC, Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act
Name of the provision : S.153B – IPC, S.2 PINHA
Instant : Kunal Kamra’s tweets on the Supreme Court
Court/state/FIR details : Sessions Court, Varanasi, UP
Current status : The next hearing was held on Mar 2, 2021. No further information available.
Brief Facts : A complaint was filed before a lower court, a Magistrate, seeking the registration of a complaint against comedian Kunal Kamra for insulting the national flag in his tweets by tweeting the distorted picture of the Supreme Court with the BJP’s flag on it instead of the Indian flag. The Magistrate had dismissed the complaint, and a revision petition was filed against said dismissal by the complainant.

Summary : The Sessions Court admitted the revision petition.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/comedian-kunal-kamra-national-flag-insult-contempt-up-court-170068

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC, IT Act, Indecent Representation of Women Act
Name of the provision : S.292 IPC; S.67 and S.67A IT Act.
Instant : Sherlyn Chopra’s application for anticipatory bail – mentioned in ‘art’
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : The Court ordered Ms. Chopra to cooperate with the investigating authorities, be present at the police station at reported times, and adjourned the hearing to Mar. 23.
Brief Facts : Actress Ms. Chopra was charged with obscenity and for transmitting sexually explicit content, among other offences, because adult content featuring her was released on free pornographic websites. She filed an application before the High Court claiming that she had been a ‘victim of piracy’, and that the content wasn’t meant for free access at all.

Summary : The HC granted interim anticipatory bail to Ms. Chopra.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/action-should-be-taken-against-investigating-officer-who-leaks-private-data-of-accused-:-karnataka-high-court-171147?infinitescroll=1 https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/obscene-video-case-bombay-hc-grants-pre-arrest-bail-to-sherlyn-chopra-101615263140435.html

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Ban on Film on Sushant Singh Rajput - SC Suit No. 1413/2020 – mentioned in ‘art’
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay High Court
Current status : The HC deferred the matter till the first week of March.
Brief Facts : A plea was filed in the city civil court seeking interim injunction against the release of a movie titled “Nyay: The Justice” on the life of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The plea claimed that the contents of the movie would harm the actor’s reputation. The civil court observed that there was no clear case made out as to how the contents were defamatory, given that the movie hadn’t even released. Against this order of dismissal by the Civil Court, the complainant appealed to the High Court.

Summary : -

Link : https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/obscene-video-case-bombay-hc-grants-pre-arrest-bail-to-sherlyn-chopra-101615263140435.html

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 499, 500
Instant : Ban on movie ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’
Court/state/FIR details : Mumbai Court
Current status : -
Brief Facts : A suit was filed by [allegedly] the adopted son of Ms. Kathiawadi, requesting for a permanent injunction against Mr. Bhansali, the director of the movie, and his production house, and against actress Alia Bhattt, from releasing the movie anywhere. The application claimed that the contents of the book from which the movie was based were offensive and derogatory. An injunction was also sought against the authors of the book.

Summary : The Court rejected the suit’s allegations and dismissed the suit, agreeing with Mr. Bhansali’s counsel’s arguments that there was no proof that the complainant was the adopted son of Ms. Kathiawadi, and has no locus standi hence.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/mumbai-court-babuji-shah-gangubai-kathiwadi-sanjay-leela-bhansali-alia-bhatt-170024?infinitescroll=1 https://www.indiatoday.in/movies/bollywood/story/mumbai-court-rejects-suit-against-alia-bhatt-s-gangubai-kathiawadi-1770497-2021-02-18

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Stay on release of Malayalam film ‘Maradu 357’ – mentioned in ‘art’
Court/state/FIR details : Kochi City Civil Court
Current status : -
Brief Facts : The film was a depiction of the destruction of certain apartment complexes in Maradu for having allegedly violated certain regulations. The criminal trial against the builders was still pending. Therefore, the plaintiffs filed a suit seeking an injunction from the City Civil Court, preventing the release of the movie on any OTT service/theatre as it would otherwise affect their rights to a fair trial. They cited the Black Friday precedent where the Supreme Court stayed the release of the movie until the trial in the Bombay blast matters had been completed.

Summary : The Kochi Civil Court stayed the release of the film.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/kochi-court-stays-release-of-film-on-maradu-flats-demolition-170023?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC Prevention of Damage to Public Ppty Act Ancient Monuments Preservation Act.
Name of the provision : 147, 148, 186, 397, 427, 120B, etc. S. 3 PDPP S.30 AMPA
Instant : State v. Dharmendra Singh Harman FIR No. 96 /2021
Court/state/FIR details : Delhi Additional Sessions Judge
Current status : The bail application was denied.
Brief Facts : AN application for regular bail u/s. 439 CrPC was moved by a Dharminder Singh Harman, in connection with the Republic Day violence. He was accused of breaking police barricades, and attacking the police, apart from also damaging their vehicles. The appellant argued that it was a peaceful protest, and that he was only sitting on his own car, waving the national flag, and that he neither perpetrated nor instigated the violence near Red Fort.

Summary : The court noted the ‘serious’ allegations against the appellant, who it deemed was ‘shown’ to be part of an ‘unruly mob’, who broke the barricades and attacked police personnel. The photo capturing the appellant sitting on the car with his flag, “prima-facie show(s) that he had an active role to instigate unruly mob.”

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/kannada-news-portal-pratidhvani-moves-karnataka-high-court-challenge-new-it-rule-171983?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 153B, 505(2)
Instant : The Wire’s Report on a farmer’s death
Court/state/FIR details : Sessions Court UP
Current status : -
Brief Facts : A report was published by The Wire, whose Founding-Editor is Mr. Varadarajan. The report, authored by journalist Ismat Ara and shared via Twittter by Mr. Varadarajan, claimed that the death of a certain farmer was due to the bullet fired from a policeman’s gun, and not, like the police were saying, due to the overturning of a tractor. An FIR was filed under the offences of comments prejudicial to national integration and of public mischief. Anticipating arrest, they applied for anticipatory interim bail/protection from the same.

Summary : The court granted them interim protection from arrest.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/report-on-farmers-death-up-court-grants-interim-protection-from-arrest-to-siddharth-varadarajan-and-ismat-ara-of-the-wire-169778

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : UAPA, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act; IPC
Name of the provision : Ss. 13, 16-18 UAPA; Ss.3 & 4, PDPPA; S. 295 IPC, etc.
Instant : Delhi Riots case and judicial custody of Mr. Imam and Mr. Khalid
Court/state/FIR details : Additional Sessions Court, Delhi
Current status : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/delhi-high-court-stays-gnctd-order-… https://www.indiatoday.in/cities/delhi/story/delhi-riots-court-takes-co…
Brief Facts : The judicial custody was extended to March 1, 2021. The Additional Sessions Court in Delhi took cognizance of offences relating to sedition, etc., in relation to the 18 held in judicial custody, after the Delhi police filed another charge-sheet in this regard.

Summary : In connection with the violence in north-east Delhi during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the investigating authorities claimed the existence of a broader conspiracy to achieve the same, naming Sharjeel Imam and Umar Khalid, among others, as part of the conspiracy. Of the 18 persons named in the FIR, only two were out on bail, and Mr. Khalid and others were in judicial custody.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/report-on-farmers-death-up-court-grants-interim-protection-from-arrest-to-siddharth-varadarajan-and-ismat-ara-of-the-wire-169778

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 120A, 505, 468, 471
Instant : State v. Swaroop Ram – Bail Application no. 364/2021
Court/state/FIR details : Additional Sessions Court, Delhi
Current status : -
Brief Facts : In the context of the farmers’ protests against the Farm laws, the accused uploaded a post that incorrectly talked about the resignation of about 200 policemen, calling it a ‘rebellion’. The video uploaded was taken from another context altogether. The accused was thus charged with offences relating to sedition and forgery, on having posted a fake video from his Facebook account.

Summary : The court noted that the accused had merely forwarded the image and had not created the content. The court then discussed sedition law and stated that it couldn’t be used as an executive tool to quieten ‘disquiet’. Noting that there was no call for violent acts, nor an incitement to violence in the uploaded content, the court said that S.124A couldn’t be invoked. Thus, bail was granted. As for forgery, the court said that a prime requirement was the dishonest intention to post fraudulent videos online. This was absent, and so was the condition that the person created the video under the authority of someone who had not authorized said creation. Thus, bail was granted.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/state-v-swaroop-389262.pdf

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : SC/ST Act, IT Act
Name of the provision : S.3(1)(R)(S)(U) SC/ST Act; S.67 IT Act
Instant : The ‘Ashram’ Web Series Controversy - S.B. Criminal Misc(Pet.) No. 825/2021
Court/state/FIR details : Rajasthan High Court [Jodhpur Bench]
Current status : -
Brief Facts : Mr. Jha, creator of the MX Web Series ‘Ashram’, was the subject of a complaint filed for affecting Dalit sentiments, and for portraying a caste community in poor light – the scene involved the upper caste community members in a group derogatorily insulting certain lower caste members. Mr, Jha filed a plea seeking the quashing of the FIR.

Summary : The High Court granted protection from coercive action to Mr. Jha. It also issued notice to the State government and ordered them to respond to Mr. Jha’s plea within 6 weeks.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/aashram-prakash-jha-rajasthan-high-court-interim-protection-169963

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 124A, 323, 465, 147, 120B
Instant : 2016 JNU Sedition Case
Court/state/FIR details : Patiala House Court, Delhi
Current status : Summoned to appear on 15 Mar 2021
Brief Facts : In relation to the 2016 JNU sedition case, where allegedly ‘anti-India’ words/slogans were uttered on the JNU campus in remembrance of the hanging of the accused in the Parliament attacks case, Mr. Afzal Guru. An FIR under offences relating to sedition, conspiracy, unlawful assembly, rioting, etc., was lodged. A charge-sheet was filed in 2019 which was rejected because of non-receipt of sanction from the government under S.196 CrPC.

Summary : The House Court took cognisance of the second charge-sheet that the Delhi Police have lodged.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/2016-jnu-sedition-case-delhi-court-summons-kanhaiya-kumar-umar-khalid-anirban-bhattacharya-others-on-march-15-169926?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : .-
Instant : Challenge to WhatsApp’s privacy poicy
Court/state/FIR details : City Civil Court, Contai, West Bengal
Current status : 15 days from date of service of notice. Further data not available.
Brief Facts : A plea was filed before the City Civil Court seeking temporary injunction to restrict WhatsApp from implementing its privacy policy in India. The petitioner, a businessman, claimed that the new privacy policy would hurt his commercial interests.

Summary : The court issued notice to WhatsApp seeking a response as to why interim injunction should not be granted. It declined to give ex-parte interim injunction since similar matters were pending before the Supreme Court. It also said that the plaintiff was always free to use another app, and therefore ex-parte injunction wouldn’t be granted.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/west-bengal-court-whatsapp-notice-388722.pdf

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : Kapil Mishra’s controversial remarks against anti-CAA protestors.
Court/state/FIR details : Patiala House Court
Current status : -
Brief Facts : Senior Advocate and activist Harsh Mander filed a plea before the House Court for offences relating to wanton provocation to cause riot among other offences, seeking the registration of an FIR against BJP leader Kapil Mishra for his remarks allegedly encouraging violent acts against protestors against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Summary : The House Court instructed the Delhi Police to file the investigation report.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/delhi-riots-harsh-manders-plea-seeking-fir-against-bjp-leader-kapil-mishra-court-v-169565

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : -
Name of the provision : -
Instant : NewsLaundry and defamation proceedings against it by Bennett Coleman
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : Affidavit in rejoinder was ordered to be filed in 1 week, and reply on behalf of the defendants by 12 Feb 2021.
Brief Facts : A 100-crore defamation suit was filed by Bennett Coleman Company Ltd. against NewsLaundry for 2 of its articles and for re-telecasting of its contents. An injunction was sought to prevent the republishing and defamatory content from being published. NewsLaundry said that it had merely compared different news reports from different channels and this would not amount to defamation.

Summary : -

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/newslaundry-defamation-times-group-times-now-bombay-high-court-100cr-169582

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : RTI Act
Name of the provision : S. 8(1)(h)
Judgement : Amit Kumar Shrivastava v. Central Information Commission
Citation : 2021 SCC On-Line Del 336
Court/state/FIR details : Del. HC

Current status : -

Brief Facts : Petitioner filed RTI application seeking details of exemptions, but the authority sought exemption under s.8(1)(h). Writ sought to quash the CIC’s order.

Summary : The court surveys cases on S. 8(1)(h), and states that the RTI Act is a ‘statutory expression’ of Art. 19(1)(a), and examined A.19(2) and stated that S8(1)(h)’s restriction on revealing certain information, falls under Art.19(2) – the ‘public order’ exception. RTI is a rights-based enactment which parallels a ‘welfare measure’. Therefore, S.8 must be strictly construed to prevent the right’s violations. Mere existence of investigation process can’t be grounds for rejecting the information. Valid reasons [that prosecution would get ‘impeded’ by releasing the information] should be stated while rejecting the application, which was not the case here, Hence, the CIC’s order was quashed.

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : NIA Act, UAP-A, IPC
Name of the provision : 21,
Judgement : Bhaskarjit Phukan and Another v. NIA
Citation : 2021 SCC OnLine Gau 231
Court/state/FIR details : Gau HC
Current status : -
Brief Facts : Appeal for bail application under S.21 of NIA Act. Case under various sections for allegedly blockading highway and disrupting supplies, and attempt to murder government officials.

Summary : The court examined the evidence including call records, photographs, and the charge-sheet which they held indicated the role of the appellant in causing the mob to damage property and disrupt essential supplies. This was categorised as a ‘terrorist act’ under the UAPA 1967. On the argument of violation of the fundamental right to speech and expression via protesting, the court said that the evidence on record showed an intent to disrupt transport and ‘paralyze government machinery’. The court refers to the fundamental duty under Art. 51-A to safeguard public property and prevent violent protests, which they stated must be ‘exercised harmoniously’ with the free speech rights under Art.19(1)(a) and its restrictions under Art. 19(2). Setting fire to vehicles and blockading public roads thereby preventing essential supplies from moving, are not ‘peaceful democratic protests in law’. Thus, there is no deprivation of free speech rights and the right to life under Art. 21, and there were prima facie reasonable grounds to deny bail.

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : 16 and 120-B resp.
Name of the provision : 21,
Judgement : Bhaskarjit Phukan and Another v. NIA
Citation : 2021 SCC OnLine Gau 231
Court/state/FIR details : Gau HC
Current status : -
Brief Facts : Appeal for bail application under S.21 of NIA Act. Case under various sections for allegedly blockading highway and disrupting supplies, and attempt to murder government officials.

Summary : The court examined the evidence including call records, photographs, and the charge-sheet which they held indicated the role of the appellant in causing the mob to damage property and disrupt essential supplies. This was categorised as a ‘terrorist act’ under the UAPA 1967. On the argument of violation of the fundamental right to speech and expression via protesting, the court said that the evidence on record showed an intent to disrupt transport and ‘paralyze government machinery’. The court refers to the fundamental duty under Art. 51-A to safeguard public property and prevent violent protests, which they stated must be ‘exercised harmoniously’ with the free speech rights under Art.19(1)(a) and its restrictions under Art. 19(2). Setting fire to vehicles and blockading public roads thereby preventing essential supplies from moving, are not ‘peaceful democratic protests in law’. Thus, there is no deprivation of free speech rights and the right to life under Art. 21, and there were prima facie reasonable grounds to deny bail.

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : CrPC, IPC
Name of the provision : 439-CrpC, 295A and Ors.-IPC
Judgement : Munnawar v. MP
Citation : 2021 SCC OnLine 152
Court/state/FIR details : MP HC
Current status : -
Brief Facts : Bail application under S. 439 against an alleged act of making improper jokes against Hindu gods. Appln. under S.437 and 439 rejected by lower courts.

Summary : The court examined Art. 51A duties to promote brotherhood and harmony, and states that individual liberties [like freedom of speech, as claimed by the applicant] must be balanced with fundamental duties to other citizens. It stated that mens rea must be established in a S.295A case, and observed that the evidence like the statements of the complainant, witness, video footage etc. showed the intent to make 'scurrilous' remarks against a religious class. Noting the possibility of collection of further evidence in the ongoing investigation, the court ultimately stated that there was no case for granting bail. While concluding, the court provided an obiter that the atmosphere of peaceful co-existence postulated by the fundamental duties cannot be ‘polluted’ by ‘negative forces’. The judgement has been stayed [not overruled.]

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : PNJs, Service Rules
Name of the provision : -
Judgement : Kapil Kumar Sharma v. Commissioner/Chairman, Meerut Devp. Authorityand Anr.
Citation : 2021 SCC OnLine All 52
Court/state/FIR details : Allahabad HC
Current status : -
Brief Facts : Writ petition challenging inter alia the order passed by the Respodent. The petitioner was appointed, a clerk in the Development Authority Office, was accused of being part of a protesting group [a strike] which misbehaved with senior officers, and was suspended. The appellant submitted that the Inquiry Officer’s report submitted to the disciplinary authority had to be made available to the appellant, which was not done. Also, no oral enquiry was obtained before imposing penalties. Thus, there was a violating the PNJs and Art. 311 of the Constitution.

Summary : The court summarized the holdings of cases relating to the procedure to be followed during inquiries, which stated that penalties like withholding of pay [as in this case] which may adversely affect the person will require a regular inquiry, where evidence is recorded in the employee’s presence, and he/she is allowed to inspect the documents. Moreover, the court noted that the employee must have been provided the opportunity to show cause against the reasons for which the State intends to penalize him/her. The court then cites Kameshwar Prasad v. State of Bihar, in which it was held that even government servants had the right to participate in strikes and demonstrations as part of their rights under Art.19(1)(a). The court notes that ‘no reason’ was provided while passing the order punishing the employee; evidence wasn’t recorded in his presence; nor was there any opportunity of cross-examination. The PNJs were therefore violated. Just because he was part of the demonstration, he cannot be penalized as that would violate his rights of free speech and expression. The writ was therefore allowed.

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : Cable and TV Networks Act, Codes of Ethics, Contempt of Courts [CoC] Act
Name of the provision : -
Judgement : Nilesh Navlakha and Ors. V. Union of India
Citation : 2021 SCC OnLine Bom 56
Court/state/FIR details : Bombay HC
Current status : -
Brief Facts : Writs filed seeking directions to media houses for ‘temporary postponement’ of news about the unnatural death of a movie actor to prevent media trials, and to prevent scandalous content from defaming the police and hinder investigation by claiming the guilt of persons before investigations are complete. It was claimed that freedom of speech is restricted when it is used to cause disaffection in reference to the police.

Summary : The court notes that Art. 19(1)(a) doesn’t guarantee merely the right to free speech and expression, but the right to freedom of speech. It noted the importance of the right, as well as several instances of media transgressing the ‘lakshman rekha’ by abusing this freedom. It then delves into disussing rule of law and how ‘no price is too high’ to ensure administrative justice to preserve the rule of law. Although free speech is a democratic essential, with the media playing a ‘salutary’ role in the same, the media must ensure they don’t cross the ‘permissible legal and Constitutional means’. Thus, they have a ‘duty’ to publish and print news based on the ‘true and correct versions’ of incidents, removing any ‘distortion/embellishment’.

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : IPC
Name of the provision : 295A, 153A, 505, 34
Judgement : Amish Devgan v. Union of India
Citation : (2021) 1 SCC 1
Court/state/FIR details : SC
Current status : -
Brief Facts : Journalist Amish Devgan made some disparaging remarks against Moinuddin Chisti. FIRs were filed against him under the offences mentioned for hate-speech related offences of outraging religious feelings of a group, and promoting enmity between groups, among others.

Summary : The court stated that the fundamental right under Art.19(1)(a) cannot ‘sacrifice’ the right to dignity under Art.21. Dignity in the context of hate speech would mean a person’s status as a ‘social equal’, and as a ‘bearer of human rights’, with rights of ‘participatory equality’. Freedoms couldn’t’ be used to stoke disorder and ‘challenge the integrity and unity’ to incite violence; without public order present, the freedom of speech of many others would be curtailed. It also remarked that political speeches about government policies need greater protection to uphold democracy, and mere falsity in the accusations made in the speeches wouldn’t constitute ‘hate speech’. It then differentiated between free speech and hate speech, based on their content, intent and the harm caused. Hate-speech content includes the ‘expression, language and message’ like symbols, etc., which cause ‘psychosocial hatred’ or ‘physical violence’ against a group. The harm element may be the ‘loss of self-esteem’, mental stress, etc. While the general standard for judging these is the ‘reasonable man’, ‘some categories of speakers’ could be provided a lower standard due to their historical deprivation and oppression, and courts have to be ‘more circumspect’ while penalizing such speech. The court then discusses aspects of tolerance and how there cannot be unlimited tolerance against intolerant views. The court stated the need to examine whether the speech would incite ‘imminent lawless action’ [essentially, the need is for a proximate causal connection] to conclude whether the speech constituted hate speech that had to be curbed, as such speech would cause long-term consequences.

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : CBSE Regulations
Name of the provision : Regs. 69.1(i), (ii)
Judgement : Kabir Jaiswal v. Union of India and Ors.
Citation : (2020) SCC OnLine All 1488
Court/state/FIR details : All. HC
Current status : -
Brief Facts : The [writ] petitioner had appeared in the CBSE exam as ‘Rishu Jaiswal’, but later changed his name to ‘Kabir Jaiswal’, but while the Aadhaar card etc recorded such changes, the CBSE Board didn’t accept the change, because the regulations permitted the name change only if it varied from the name recorded in the School records.

Summary : The court, after a review of judgements, said that names are ‘facets’ of the right to expression under Art. 19(1)(a) read with Art. 21. The court then examined whether the CBSE regulations could be ‘law’ having a statutory force, and not merely an ‘executive or departmental instruction’, because only laws could deny the right to free expression. It concluded that CBSE is a ‘society’ and its rules don’t have a ‘statutory flavour’ and cannot be considered ‘law’ to impose reasonable restrictions. In any case, the court seemed to doubt whether, even if the CBSE regulations were law, they would constitute reasonable restrictions on free expression. Thus, the court ruled that the petitioner could change his name, but to prevent hardships to both the Board and the petitioner, the court cited the case of Rayaan Chawla to hold that the CBSE shall change the name of the petitioner to ‘Kabir Jaiswal alias/nee Rishu Jaiswal’ in their records.

Read more

2021

 
 
Act : UAPA IPC
Name of the provision : S.15 120B, 124A, 153B
Judgement : Akhil Gogoi v. the National Investigation Agency
Citation : Crl.A./186/2020
Court/state/FIR details : Gau HC
Current status : -
Brief Facts : The offences mentioned were filed against Akhil Gogoi during the CAA protests, for allegedly conspiring and supporting terrorist organisations. Hence, an application made requesting bail claiming that the petitioner wasn’t liable for terrorist acts during the CAA protests. The appeal was under S.21 of the NIA Act against the Special Judge, Assam’s order.

Summary : The court noted that there was evidence showing the ‘instrumental’ role of the petitioner in training people in CPI [Maoist] camps, and that the accused had ‘conspired’ together to commit seditious offences, apart from trying to close access to essential supplies. He had ‘provoked’ the public to vandalize property as well. Therefore, S.15 of the UAPA Act was prima facie applicable here, apart from causing enmity among groups by spreading disaffection. After examining the evidence, the court rules the prima facie existence of a conspiracy. The court towards the conclusion cites the Fundamental Duty to prevent damage to property and prevent violent protests, which have to be harmoniously exercised with Section 19(1) rights. It mentions that road blocking, burning public offices and vehicles, preventing goods from traversing across the border, among others, cannot be ‘peaceful’ in their democratic protests. Thus, there was no case made out for violation of the accused’s Article 21 rights.

Read more

2020

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860
Name of the provision : Section 293: Sale, etc., of obscene book, etc. to young person
Instant : Sreekumar vs The State Of Kerala, Bail Appl..No.116 OF 2020
Court/state/FIR details : Kerala High Court
Current status : The strict bail conditions were laid down which the accused had to abide by keeping in mind COVID social distancing norms. Meanwhile, the police would have to begin filing the FIR and conduct the investigation accordingly.
Brief Facts : The prosecution's case is that the accused committed sexual harassment against a minor boy aged 13 by showing pornographic videos to the child from his mobile phone.

Summary : The bail application was allowed, but under stringent conditions. A perusal of the statement of the victim made it clear that the offence could be proved only through oral evidence. For that purpose the custodial interrogation of the petitioner was not required to be necessary.

Link : https://indiankanoon.org/doc/137350186/

Read more

2020

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860
Name of the provision : Section 153B: Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration
Instant : Akhil Gogoi v. The State Of Assam, Case No. : Bail Appln. 930/2020
Court/state/FIR details : Gauhati High Court
Current status : The Court held that there are no tangible materials, as on date, in the case diary wherefrom prima facie inferences can be drawn that activities were undertaken by the petitioner in a subversive manner with some unlawful association and with the intention to promote enmity between different groups to cause disharmony or to disturb the national integration for the offences under Sections 153A/154B, IPC. A bandh called can be declared illegal and the participation of the petitioner in such bandh may also be illegal but such activity cannot ipso facto be considered to bring the activity of the petitioner within the purview of terrorist act and within the ambit of the offences under Sections 153A/153B, IPC.
Brief Facts : After the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was re-introduced in the Parliament in December, 2019, a spontaneous movement against the Bill erupted again in the State of Assam where the petitioner in opposition of the said Bill, had participated in the agitation programmess which were organized by different organizations in different parts in the State, at the invitation of the people. When the petitioner was at Jorhat, participating in one such peaceful programme of protest, he was arrested on 12.12.2019 in connection with numerous cases under various provisions of IPC including Section 153B. The petitioner was being granted bail but the same was denied, so he filed a case for grant of bail again.

Summary : In the light of the discussion in the case, and in the fact situation obtaining in the case and also upon consideration of the fact that the petitioner was in custody for the last 52 days, the application stood allowed by the Court. Accordingly, it was provided that the petitioner shall be allowed to be released on bail.

Link : https://indiankanoon.org/doc/17849404/

Read more

2020

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860
Name of the provision : Section 153A: Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.
Instant : Pradeep R.S. v. State of Kerala, Bail Appl..No.3302 OF 2020
Court/state/FIR details : Kerala High Court
Current status : The intention to cause disorder or incite the people to violence is the sine qua non of the offence under S. 153A IPC. It is necessary that at least two groups or communities should be involved. Merely inciting the feelings of one community or group without any reference to any other community or group cannot attract the provisions of S.153A IPC. In the case in hand, the comments made by the 8th accused in the Facebook is only with regard to the pride of A.H.P, or at best the Hindu community. The comments made by him refers only to the the Mahadeva temple and not permitting such activities of construction within the precincts of the temple. Therefore, prima facie, the offence punishable under S.153 A is not attracted to the facts of the case.
Brief Facts : The petitioner was accused of hatching a conspiracy to demolish a filmset depicting a Church and formed an unlawful assembly, committed riot and damaged the walls of the sanctum sanctorum of the Kalady Mahadeva Temple causing a loss of Rs.25,000/- thereby promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between different groups on the grounds of Religion.

Summary : Merely Inciting Feelings Of One Community Without Any Reference To Any Other Community Cannot Attract Section 153A IPC. Real intention to incite one group or community against another is absolutely essential.

Link : https://indiankanoon.org/doc/187996138/

Read more

2020

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860
Name of the provision : 153-A- Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony
Instant : FIR against an offending speech which contains innuendo against two religions.
Court/state/FIR details : Mohammed Shariff v. State of Karnataka & Anr. in Karnataka HC
Current status : Since the FIR has not been quashed, the case is to undergo a trial.
Brief Facts : The Court refused to quash a FIR registered against a National Committee Member of the Popular Front of India (PFI), while holding that even though the offending speech does not directly refer to two religions, "it attracts the provisions of Section 153 of the IPC, which is in the form of innuendo."

Summary : The Petitioner-accused had submitted that mere insulting the feeling of one community or group without any reference to other community or group cannot constitute an offence. The Bench held that "on close reading of the contents of the speech in the contents of the complaint, there are two religions. One is the Muslim community and another one has been indirectly in the form of innuendo, it has been stated with reference to the other religions."

Link : https://indiankanoon.org/doc/176641596/

Read more

2020

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000
Name of the provision : 67- Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form
Instant : FIR registered against fake social media accounts trolling Mumbai police.
Court/state/FIR details : Mumbai, Maharashtra
Current status : An FIR was reportedly registered in October 2020.
Brief Facts : Mumbai Police registered FIR against fake social media accounts that trolled and defamed the Mumbai police in Sushant Singh Rajput case.

Summary : Several social media account holders trolled the Mumbai Police Commissioner on different platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and used abusive language against him and the force. Hence, an FIR was registered against those account holders under Section 67 of the IT Act. Most of these accounts are fake and DCP, Cyber Crime, Mumbai police said that they will be taking action against all those fake account holders.

Link : https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/firs-against-social-media-accounts-for-trolling-mumbai-police-commissioner/article32780196.ece

Read more

2020

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860
Name of the provision : 153 B- Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration
Instant : FIRs filed against Arnab Goswami alleging that the news debates led by him on the Palghar lynching incident in Maharashtra amounted to promotion of enmity between groups and creation of communal disharmony.
Court/state/FIR details : Supreme Court of India
Current status : The Supreme Court granted Three weeks protection from arrest to Arnab Goswami in the matter in April 2020.
Brief Facts : The FIRs were filed against Arnab Goswami alleging that the news debates led by him on the Palghar lynching incident in Maharashtra amounted to promotion of enmity between groups, creation of communal disharmony, promotion of feeling against national integration etc. The FIRs mentioned offences under Sections 153A, 153B, 295A, 500, 504, 505 etc of the Indian Penal Code.

Summary : FIRs were registered in States of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Jammu & Kashmir in response to the broadcasts made by Republic TV linking Congress to the Palghar incident. In the writ petition filed in the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution, the Republic TV Editor-in-Chief contended that the criminal actions resulted in the infringement of his fundamental right to speech under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. However, the State claimed that the petitioner is trying to ignite communal violence here by putting Hindus against minority and is creating communal violence.

Link : https://www.siasat.com/sc-grants-arnab-goswami-three-week-relieve-arrest-1878866/

Read more

2020

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000
Name of the provision : 67A- Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form
Instant : FIR lodged for sharing pornographic material on Whatsapp group.
Court/state/FIR details : Jharkhand
Current status : As on 5 July 2020, the concerned Court had denied bail to these persons despite recording the fact that the mobile phone used to create the alleged WhatsApp group has been recovered, their confessions have been recorded, and the statements of all the witnesses under section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code have also been recorded.
Brief Facts : FIR was lodged against two boys aged 19 and 20 respectively, for allegedly sharing 'obscene remarks and materials' in a WhatsApp study group.

Summary : On May 14, a couple of teachers found out that the accused persons had created a WhatsApp group called 'Mia Khalifa' wherein they had added all the students as well as the teachers of the some other WhatsApp groups, which were created to share study material during lockdown. As per the prosecution, this new WhatsApp group was used to share 'obscene' remarks and materials with the members of the group, which included minor girls as well. The case diary states that, 'Students and teachers tried to restrain the two Petitioners for sending the obscene messages, but the Petitioners paid no heed'.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/arrested-for-sharing-porn-on-whatsapp-how-young-boys-in-jharkhand-are-languishing-in-prison-due-to-arbitrary-denial-of-bail-159387

Read more

2020

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860
Name of the provision : 120B- Punishment of criminal conspiracy
Instant : Arrest of Devangana Kalita
Court/state/FIR details : 1) FIR No. 250/19, U/s 147/148/149/153- A(II)/436/437/323/325/353 /186/188/120B/34 IPC & 3 PDPP Act, P.S. Darya Ganj, Delhi 2) FIR No. 59/20, U/s 120B r/w 124A/302/307/353/186/212/395/427/436/452/454/114/147/ 148/149/153A/34 IPC, 3/4 PDPP Act, 25/27 Arms Act & 17/18 UA (P) Act, P.S. Crime Branch, Delhi. 3) FIR No. 50/2020 147/148/149/ 186/353/283/332/323/307/427/120B/34/188 IPC & SECTION 25, 27 Arms Act and sections 3/4 of Prevention of Destruction of Public Property Act., P.S. Jafrabad, Delhi.
Current status : 1) FIR No. 250/19, she was granted bail by the Metropolitan Magstrate as the police failed to produce any concrete evidence connecting her to the violence that broke out in Daryaganj in Decemeber of 2019. 2)FIR No. 59/20, alleged that Devangana Kalita along with other accused persons hatched a conspiracy to instigate the violence in the form of riots and that the riots are preplanned, multi-layered and deep-rooted conspiracy. The Additional Sessions Judge of Kakardooma court denied her bail application on the grounds that the accusations against her were prima facie true in nature and that her actions have been corroborrated by the witnesses present during the riots. 3)FIR No. 50/20 , The Delhi High Court, on September 1 2020 granted bail to her on the grounds that the Delhi police failed to produce any substantial evidence to show that she delivered hate speech and also instigated certain cmmunity to commit acts of violence. The court held that though her presence is established at the place of riots, it was not proven that she instigated the riots and gave hate speech.She was only taking part in a peaceful demnstartion of protest which is a guaranteed right in the constitution of India.. The court further added that she will not be released from jail as she is yet to obtain bail in relation to FIRNo. 59/20. Devangana Kaita got bail in 3 FIRs out of 4. She was denied bail in the FIR No. 59/20 and hence is still in jail. FIR No. 59/20 also named activists such as Umar Khalid, Ishrat Jahan, Khalid Saifi, Safoora Zargar, and Gulfisha.
Brief Facts : Devangana Kalita, Pinjra Tod activist was arrested on May 23, 2020 in relation to the anti CAA protests and riots happened in Delhi during February 2020 and December 2019. A series of FIRs have been filed against her at different police stations in Delhi. All the three FIRs have alleged that she, intentionally instigated a particular community to indulge in violent rioting. She filed bail applications with respect to all the four FIRs against her.

Summary : -

Link : https://www.theleaflet.in/what-was-the-mysterious-conspiracy-of-delhi-police-against-devangana-kalita/

Read more

2020

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000
Name of the provision : 67B- Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form
Instant : BJP IT Cell coordinator circulating child porn content through social media arrested by police.
Court/state/FIR details : Alathur, Kerala
Current status : The accused was booked under IT Act 67 B and was remanded.
Brief Facts : Police arrested BJP IT Cell coordinator for circulating child porn content through social media. The accused is identified as Perungulam native Aswin Murali (28), BJP Alathur constituency IT Cell coordinator.

Summary : A police team nabbed the accussed following a raid under Operation P-hunt. Palakkad SP directed Alathur police to carry out the raid under Operation P-hunt to arrest people involved in circulating and watching child pornography. The police also seized the mobile phone which was used to circulate the child porn content.

Link : https://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/crime-beat/bjp-activist-arrested-for-circulating-child-porn-content-through-social-media-1.5108520

Read more

2019

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860
Name of the provision : 295-A 298 505 66 A
Instant : Case against Shashi Tharoor for his 'Hindu Pakistan' remark.
Court/state/FIR details : Metropolitan Magistrate of Kolkata
Current status : An arrest warrant was issued against the MP in August 2019.
Brief Facts : The case was filed by Advocate Sumeet Chowdhary under Section 153A/295A of the Indian Penal Code and Section 2 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 against Shashi Tharoor fo his 'Hindu Pakistan' remark.

Summary : The MP while addressing an event in his home-district said, "If they (BJP') win a repeat in the Lok Sabha, our democratic constitution as we understand it will not survive as they will have all the elements they need to tear apart the constitution of India and write a new one". He added, "..that new one will be the one which will enshrine principles of Hindu Rashtra, that will remove equality for minorities, that will create a Hindu Pakistan and that isn't what Mahatama Gandhi, Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad and great heroes of freedom struggle fought for". The complainant alleged that Tharoor's remarks were an insult to India which is a secular nation and that the politician had even refused to apologise for his comment.

Link : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/arrest-warrant-against-shashi-tharoor-over-hindu-pakistan-remark/article29085457.ece

Read more

2019

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860
Name of the provision : 298- Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person.—Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person or makes any gesture in the sight of that person or places, any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with im­prisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
Instant : Re-enactment of Babri Masjid demolition by students at RSS leader' school.
Court/state/FIR details : Karnataka
Current status : 4 persons including RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat and members of the governing body of the school, were charged under Sections 295A and 298 of the IPC in Dec. 2019.
Brief Facts : A circulated video showed that students at Sri Rama Vidyakendra High School in Kalladka in Karnataka were made to re-enact Babri Masjid Demolition.

Summary : In a Karnataka school, allegedly owned by RSS leader Prabhakar Bhat, students were seen rushing towards a huge poster of the Babri Masjid while a narrator urges them to tear down the structure over a loudspeaker and says, “With enthusiasm, Hanuman bhakts with Hanuman’s anger, they bring down Babri structure. Bolo Shri Ramachandra ki, Jai!”. The students reportedly put up a ‘Ram Temple’ after tearing down the poster. The event was attended by Union minister and BJP MP Sadananda Gowda along with Puducherry governor and former cop Kiran Bedi.

Link : https://thewire.in/law/fir-against-rss-leader-for-babri-masjid-demolition-re-enactment-in-school

Read more

2019

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860
Name of the provision : 505- Statements conducing to public mischief
Instant : A documentary of manual scavening, which talks about a particular community doing it, does not create enmity but is merely creating awareness.
Court/state/FIR details : Madras High Court
Current status : The FIR was quashed by the Madras HC.
Brief Facts : The complainant had been charged under Section 153A and 505(1)(b) of IPC r/w 66 F of the Information Technology Act, 2000, for attempting to create a caste conflict and promoting enmity. It was alleged that documentary proceeded as if manual scavenging was done by a particular community called Thevendra Kula Vellalar, thereby defaming them.

Summary : It was alleged that the Petitioner, by way of her film, had attempted to create a caste conflict, in effect disturbing public tranquility. Resisting the FIR, Divya had submitted that the film was an attempt to spread awareness in order to completely abolish the practice of manual scavenging. The Court ruled that, ""… There is no allegation in the complaint to show that there is promotion of feeling of enmity, hatred or ill will between different groups or communities. The only reference made in this complaint is to one particular community. Therefore, even if an extreme case is taken, at the best, the allegations made in the complaint will only amount to defaming a particular community and nothing more. It is not known on what basis the respondent police registered the FIR for the offence under Sections 153 A and 505 (1)(b) of IPC." Moreover, it was added that, "In the considered view of this Court, the allegations made in the complaint does not make out a case under Sections 153 A and 505 (1)(b) of IPC. In the first place, the documentary in question is intended to create an awareness among general public for abolition of manual scavenging. If in the documentary, any community has been named, it will not amount to an offence under Sections 153 A and 505 (1)(b) of IPC."

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/cbi-director-is-the-accused-cbi-investigating-the-case-delhi-court-says-it-is-violation-of-principles-of-natural-justice-165993?infinitescroll=1

Read more

2019

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000
Name of the provision : 66 A-Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc. -Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device
Instant : A meme offending the CM led to 14 days' judicial custody and a apology.
Court/state/FIR details : West Bengal
Current status : The State of WB has since filed a closure report in the Court of the concerned CJM conceding that in fact no criminal offence is made out against the accused and that the case be closed.
Brief Facts : Ms. Priyanka Sharma, a BJP Yuva Morcha leader in West Bengal was arrested for sharing a meme in which she transposed the face of the Chief Minister of West Bengal Ms. Mamta Banerjee onto the body of Ms. Priyanka Chopra at the Met Gala in New York, USA. FIR was reportedly lodged in the Cyber Cell of the Howrah City Police.

Summary : Ms. Priyanka Sharma, a BJP Yuva Morcha leader in West Bengal was arrested for sharing a meme in which she transposed the face of the Chief Minister of West Bengal Ms. Mamta Banerjee onto the body of Ms. Priyanka Chopra at the Met Gala in New York, USA. FIR was reportedly lodged in the Cyber Cell of the Howrah City Police. After arrest and upon production before the Magistrate, she was sent to 14 days' judicial custody. The cessation of legal representation in the state led to the accused approaching the SC by way of a habeas corpus writ petition. The Bench directed that the detenue be enlarged on bail immediately. However, the order also directed the accused to tender a written apology for sharing the meme. Media reported that the Court initially made the bail consequent upon the apology, only to later remove that condition and direct the apology to be made independent of the bail.

Link : https://www.livelaw.in/columns/mamta-banerjee-meme-what-for-did-the-sc-ask-priyanka-sharma-to-apologise-145069

Read more

2019

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860
Name of the provision : 153A, 153B,505
Instant : Arrest of Dr. Kafeel Khan for his speech at Aligarh Muslim University
Court/state/FIR details : Case Crime No.-700/2019, Section 153A, 153B, 505(2), 109 IPC, P.S. Civil Lines, Aligarh
Current status : On 10th February 2020, Dr. Khan has been granted bail in reation to this case by the chief judicial mgistrate, Aligarh. Though he was granted bail by the CJM of Aligarh, the UP Govt invoked the National Security Act and the District Magistrate issued orders to extend his detention which later on was set aside by the Allaahabad High court by issuing a writ of habeas corpus in the petiton of Nuzhat Perween vs State Of U.P. And Another on 1 September, 2020.
Brief Facts : This criminal case was filed against Dr. Kafeel Khan, a peditrician for his speech at the Aligarh Muslim University during the Anti-CAA protests in Decemeber 2019. On 12th December 2019, Dr. Khan and Dr. Yogendra Yadav addressed a gathering of 600 students in the Uniersity. The very next next day, at the instance of sub-inspector of Police, this criminal case was lodged against Dr. Khan. During the course of investigation, on 29th January 2020, he was arrested in Mumbai by the Special Task Force team Lucknow. He was then detained in Mathura ditrict jail. Dr. Khan presented a bail application before the Chief Judicial Mgistrate, Aligarh.

Summary : The enactment of CAA triggered wide range of protests through out the country. In the light of this, on 12 Decemeber 2019, Dr. Kafeel Khan and Dr. Yogendra Yadav adressed a gathering of about 600 students at the Baba Sayeed Gate of the Aligarh Muslim University. The police immediately lodged a criminal case against Dr. Khan under the section 153A of the IPC. The offences under the sections 153B and 505 were added to the same case later on. The allegations are, through his speech Dr. Khan provoked the religious sentiments of all the Muslim students present at the time and tried to incite hated enmty and disharmony against the other community. It was alleged that the speech by Dr. Kahn was a deliberate attempt to distort the public order in the dictrict of Aligarh. It was further alleged that post-the speech, on 13th December 2019, around 10,000 students from AMU attempted to march towards the Aligarh city but they were stopped by the Police, PAC and RAF forces. The allegatios presented also include that because of Dr. Khan's speech, the students of AMU, on 15th Decemeber 2019 ,attempted to break open the Baba-e-Syed gate of the University with an intention to march towards the city of Aligarh and when the police tried to tstope them, the students pelted stones at them and fired with an intention to kill. Due to this, there was a signififcant amount of public propoerty that was damaged.

Link : https://thewire.in/rights/kafeel-khan-arrest-cases-timeline

Read more

2018

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860
Name of the provision : 120B- Punishment of criminal conspiracy
Instant : Arrest of Dr. Anand Teltumbde
Court/state/FIR details : FIR dated 08/01/2018 registered with Vishrambaug Police Station, Pune, vide C.R.No.4 of 2018, for the offences punishable under Sections 153A, 505(1)(b), and 117 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code (for short, 'IPC').
Current status : Dr. Anand Teltumbde is impisoned in a Mumbai prison. Other prominent civil rights activists such as Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautham Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, and Rona Wilson were also arrested and charged under UAPA.
Brief Facts : Dr. Anand Teltumbde, civil rights activist and a senior professor at Goa Institute of management was arrested on April 14th, 2019 by the National Investigation Agency, in relation to the Elgar Parishad case. The FIR was lodged against him with the offences under the IPC along with UAPA charges which were added later on during the course of investigation by the Pune Police. It was alleged by the police that he associated with the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist), plotting the assassination of the Prime Minister of India, and of instigating violence that broke out in Bhima-Koregaon on 1 January 2018 during celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Dalit victory over the Peshwas (upper caste rulers) in the Battle of Koregaon.

Summary : The FIR was filed on the basis of the version of one of the attendees of the Elgar Parishad that happened on 31 December 2017. It was an event to honor the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. The following day i.e 1 January 2018, tens of thousands of Dalits had gathered at the Bhima-Koregaon war memorial to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the historic victory of the British colonial army, which had a substantial Dalit contingent, over the Hindu upper-caste Peshwa community. The attendees were allegedly attacked by the upper caste groups, resulting in one death while several others were wounded. Two right wing activists were accused of inciting the violence and one of them was arrested and subsequently released on bail. The other was never questioned. The focus gradulally shifted toward the Elgar Parishad event happened the very before day. Pune police started investigating through that line and claimed that the event had maoist connections which was the main reason for the violence that broke out on the 1st of January 2018. It was alleged that during the coursee of investigation several names came out as part of a deep rooted conspiracy to overthrow the Indian Government. The Bombay High court declined to grant anticipatory bail to Dr. Teltumbde by holding that Section 43D(4) of UAPA Act excludes the applicability of section 438 CRPC. Thus, the applicability of Section 438 of CrPC is excluded by the aforesaid provision. The Supreme court bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and M R Shah dismissed the challenege to the Bombay High court judgment and held the same as High court.

Link : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/elgar-case-activist-teltumbde-arrested/articleshow/75148112.cms?from=mdr

Read more