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Timeline of Judgements

The Supreme Court of India as well as the High Courts Courts have interpreted various legislations as well as analysed the correctness of executive actions in various judgment. These judgments have laid out the jurisprudence in the area of free speech and have even influenced Constitutional Courts in other countries. This time line of judgments provides a bird eye view of how the Supreme Court and High Courts have treaded this path over the years. We have written about this here - This list in not exhaustive. You can tell us what we have missed by using the report button.

 

2021

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code

Name of the Judgement : Defamation Case against Somnath Bharti

Court : Addnl Chief MM, Delhi 
 

Brief Facts : A defamation case was filed against AAP MLA Mr. Somnath Bahrti when, during a TV debate that was airing live, he made some purportedly offensive statements against a journalist.

Summary of what was held : Not Provided

Held in detail : Not Provided

Link : Link
 

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2021

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code

Name of the Judgement : TTV Dhinakaran v. City Public Prosecutor

Court : Madras HC
 

Brief Facts : This was a quashing petition u/s. 482 CrPC pertaining to a case pending in the Special Court. The quashing petition was filed by politician Mr. TTV Dhinakaran, against a criminal proceedings instituted against him for allegedly defamatory remarks against the Chief Minister and other Ministers of Tamil Nadu on TV channels. It was argued that the remarks were made during the CM attending a statue erection ceremony, and thus the defamatory remarks couldn’t be attributed to the person’s discharge of public functions as under S.199(2).

Summary of what was held : The court noted the lack of a reasonable nexus between the remarks to the discharge of public functions, and quashed the criminal proceedings, after highlighting the need for restraining criticisms against public functionaries.

Held in detail : The court noted the lack of a reasonable nexus between the remarks to the discharge of public functions, and quashed the criminal proceedings, after highlighting the need for restraining criticisms against public functionaries.

Link : Link
 

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2021

 
 
Act : Evidence Act

Name of the Judgement : Toman Lal Sahu v. State of Chattisgarh

Court : Chattisgarh HC
 

Brief Facts : The petitioners were dismissed from service without any departmental enquiry, for conversating with a criminal, of which there was a CD recording. The petitioners claimed that the source of the recording wasn’t disclosed to them, nor was the content supplied for them to rebut. The court had to examine whether a mere CD recording of a telephonic conversation was sufficient to dismiss the petitioners under a departmental enquiry.

Summary of what was held : The court said that the telephone conversation recording wasn’t sufficne to t

Held in detail : The court said that the telephone conversation recording wasn’t sufficne to t

Link : Here.
 

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2021

 
 
Act : CrPC

Name of the Judgement : R.Rajangam v. UT of Puducherry

Court : Madras High Court
 

Brief Facts : A PIL was filed against the imposition of the S.144 order across the entire UT of Puducherry by the District Magistrate on the election day without any reason of an unrest or disorder. The PIL claimed that ordinary voters might become apprehensive of a law-and-order situation due to such orders and may hesitate to vote.

Summary of what was held : The HC noted that S.144 orders must indicate cogent reasons and mustn’t be abused to instill fear in citizens, but here the S.144 order was upheld since as it applied to only specific areas and limited unlawful activities.

Held in detail : The HC noted that S.144 orders must indicate cogent reasons and mustn’t be abused to instill fear in citizens, but here the S.144 order was upheld since as it applied to only specific areas and limited unlawful activities.

Link : Link
 

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2021

 
 
Act : -

-

Name of the Judgement : Ban on streaming of Tandav – Aditya Tiwari v. State of Madhya Pradesh – covered in ‘art' 

Citation : WP 1613/2021

Court : MP High Court
 

Brief Facts : Writ petition filed seeking the ban on Tandav, claiming that, while certain problematic aspects in the Amazon Prime Video web series had in fact been removed, there will still some ‘objectionable’ aspects present in the series. A request was also made to issue directions to bring OTT platforms under a common framework of laws.

Summary of what was held : -

Held in detail : -

Link : Link
 

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2021

 
 
Act : IPC

Name of the provision : 124A, 153A, 153B, 505(2), 188 

Name of the Judgement : Zakir Khan v. Union Territory of Ladakh and Ors.

Citation : CRM(M) No.283/2020 and CrlM No. 1098 of 2020

Court : Jammu and Kashmir High Court
 

Brief Facts : The councillor of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, in an audio clip, allegedly made derogatory remarks against the armed forces and the Union Government, during the standoff with the Chinese government and military in the Galwan Valley. Thus, an FIR for charges of sedition, imputations prejudicial to national integration, creating or promoting hatred between classes, etc., was registered against him. This appeal was an application for quashing of the FIR using the HC’s inherent powers under S.482 CrPC. 

Summary of what was held : The court quashed the sedition charge.

Held in detail : The court quashed the sedition charge.

Link : Link
 

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2021

 
 

Name of the Judgement : S. Muthu-kumar v. Government of India and Ors.

Citation : W.P.(MD) No.19651 of 2020

Court : Madras HC [Madurai Bench]
 

Brief Facts : A plea was filed a Tamil news channel, in which a Sanskrit program was displayed. Thus, a writ for mandamus ordered the news channel from displaying such a program was sought before the HC. There was another plea regarding the distribution of equal funds for all languages in the 8th Schedule.

Summary of what was held : Not Provided

Held in detail : Not Provided

Link : Link
 

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2021.

 
 
Act : IPC

Name of the provision : 341, 143, 147, 149, 353, 504, and 506 

Name of the Judgement : Anu Tuli Aza v. State of HP

Citation : CrMMO No. 339 of 2020

Court : Himachal Pradesh High Court
 

Brief Facts : The petitioner alleged that she was protesting near the Civil Court by blocking a route and requiring the lawyers to take a longer traffic-laden route, thereby causing delays. They claimed that there was a wrongful FIR filed against them with vengeful motives. However, the police claimed that they were manhandled by the lawyers including the petitioner when they were asked for permits for having their vehicles on a certain restricted road. 

Summary of what was held : The Court held that peaceful protests couldn’t be an offence and quashed the FIR.

Held in detail : The Court held that peaceful protests couldn’t be an offence and quashed the FIR.

Link : Link
 

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2021

 
 
Act : IPC UAPA

Name of the provision : 121, 121A [IPC]; Ss. 10 and 13, UAPA

Name of the Judgement : Arwinder Singh v. State of Punjab 

Citation : CRM-5937-2019 and CRA-D-165-2019

Court : Punjab and Haryana High Court
 

Brief Facts : An application was filed under Section 308 of the CrPC seeking the suspension of the sentence passed against them, especially given that they had gone through 4 years of rigorous imprisonment. They also claimed that they were unfairly implicated for being allegedly part of secessionist groups just on the basis of the literature. The State however claimed that the parties were part of banned Sikh organisations and were inciting members of the youth to join such banned organisations that had secessionist tendencies.

Summary of what was held : The court rejected their request to suspend their remaining sentence.

Held in detail : The court rejected their request to suspend their remaining sentence.

Link : None
 

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2021

 
 

Name of the Judgement : Bharat Serum Vaccines v. State of Kerala 

Citation : WP(C) No. 29084 of 2020

Court : Kerala HC
 

Brief Facts : Some employees of Bharat Serum were transferred from one unit to another, and they allegedly used coercive tactics due to said transfer. A writ petition was therefore filed by Bharat Serum to quash such tactics.

Summary of what was held : Interim protection was granted to the petitioners.

Held in detail : Interim protection was granted to the petitioners.

Link : Link
 

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2021

 
 

Name of the Judgement : Umamahesh-waran v. Union of India and Ors. – 

Citation : WP [MD] No. 1306 of 2021.

Court : High Court of Madras
 

Brief Facts : This was a writ petition filed seeking the court’s indulgence in framing guidelines for monitoring the functioning and content of social media, and also to establish a censor-board like panel for social-media intermediaries.

Summary of what was held : The court held that it was not the court’s function to become a censor-board or frame directions to that effect.

Held in detail : The court held that it was not the court’s function to become a censor-board or frame directions to that effect.

Link : Link
 

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2021

 
 
Act : IPC

Name of the provision : Ss. 499, 500

Name of the Judgement : Dr. Joy Anto v. State of Kerala and Ors.

Citation : Crl.MC.No.534 OF 2016(F)

Court : High Court of Kerala
 

Brief Facts : The application under S.482 was moved by the Chairman of M/s Cherupushpan Kuries. This was in response to defamatory remarks against a lawyer he had alleged in the counter affidavit he filed. The remarks had alleged that the lawyer had indulged in ‘proven misconduct’.

Summary of what was held : The court ruled that privilege wasn’t a defence to defamatory claims in pleadings.

Held in detail : The court ruled that privilege wasn’t a defence to defamatory claims in pleadings.

Link : Link
 

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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.

Name of the Judgement : Vishwanath @ Vishu Phaniraj Gopi vs The State

Citation : CRIMINAL PETITION NO.101784 OF 2019

Court : Karnataka High Court
 

Brief Facts : The petitioners who claim to be Vedic Scholars, Priests and Upadhivanthas of Shree Mahabaleshwar Temple Gokarna have a strained relationship with Shri Ramachandrapur Mutt over the issue of management of Shree Mahabaleshwar Temple. The Respondents have alleged that the petitioners were distributing handbills and C.D. to the public in Ratha Beedi of Gokarna, which contained derogatory materials against the Mutt and pontiffs in order to defame the pontiffs and to create a breach of peace and harm to the religious feelings amongst the devotees of Mutt.2

Summary of what was held : It was held that there have been no adverse consequences, in terms of enmity, hatred or ill-will, violence or breach of peace, occurred as a consequence of the webcast. Keeping in view the law as laid-down by the Supreme Court and the guidance and direction given in the above-cited precedents, without forming an opinion on the merits of this matter, this court held that the filing of the complaint and registration of the FIR deserve to be considered and deliberated further, before allowing investigation to proceed against the petitioner. Accordingly, further investigation in the matter arising from the subject FIR was stayed.

Held in detail : It was held that there have been no adverse consequences, in terms of enmity, hatred or ill-will, violence or breach of peace, occurred as a consequence of the webcast. Keeping in view the law as laid-down by the Supreme Court and the guidance and direction given in the above-cited precedents, without forming an opinion on the merits of this matter, this court held that the filing of the complaint and registration of the FIR deserve to be considered and deliberated further, before allowing investigation to proceed against the petitioner. Accordingly, further investigation in the matter arising from the subject FIR was stayed.

Link : Link
 

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2020

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 505: Statements conducing to public mischief

Name of the Judgement : Vinod Dua v. State (Govt. Of Nct Of Delhi)

Citation : W.P. (CRL.) No.895/2020

Court : Delhi High Court
 

Brief Facts : The petitioner, who is a known journalist and television anchor, has filed the present petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India read with section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C.) praying for quashing of FIR No.74/2020 dated 04.06.2020 registered under sections 290/505/505(2) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) at PS : Crime Branch, New Delhi. The petitioner has further prayed for an investigation into the registration of the FIR by respondent No.1/State, as also for compensation for violation of the petitioner's fundamental rights. Briefly, the genesis of the matter is a webcast made by the petitioner on "The Vinod Dua Show" on HW News Network on the YouTube platform. From what appears on record and as per the averments contained in the petition and submissions made by Mr. Vikas Singh learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner, the webcast was made on 11.03.2020 and ran for approximately 12 minutes, comprising two parts, each addressing a different current affairs issue. About 08 minutes of the webcast was in relation to the politics of government formation in the State of Madhya Pradesh in the context of some recent happenings. According to Mr. Singh, as per the allegations contained in the FIR, this part of the webcast is not subject matter of the FIR. The second part, of about 04 minutes was in relation to the riots that happened in the North-East part of Delhi in February 2020

Summary of what was held : That there is no allegation that any adverse consequences, in terms of enmity, hatred or ill-will, muchless any violence or breach of peace, occurred as a consequence of the webcast. Keeping in view the law as laid-down by the Supreme Court and the guidance and direction given in the above-cited precedents, without forming an opinion on the merits of this matter, this court is persuaded to think that the filing of the complaint and registration of the FIR deserve to be considered and deliberated further, before allowing investigation to proceed against the petitioner. Accordingly, further investigation in the matter arising from the subject FIR is stayed, till the next date of hearing.

Held in detail : That there is no allegation that any adverse consequences, in terms of enmity, hatred or ill-will, muchless any violence or breach of peace, occurred as a consequence of the webcast. Keeping in view the law as laid-down by the Supreme Court and the guidance and direction given in the above-cited precedents, without forming an opinion on the merits of this matter, this court is persuaded to think that the filing of the complaint and registration of the FIR deserve to be considered and deliberated further, before allowing investigation to proceed against the petitioner. Accordingly, further investigation in the matter arising from the subject FIR is stayed, till the next date of hearing.

Link : Link
 

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2019

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 295A: Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.

Name of the Judgement : State v. Richa Bharti

Citation : Not Provided

Court : Judicial Magistrate XXI, Ranchi
 

Brief Facts : The petitioner was accused of posting criticising messages on Facebook and Whatsapp against Islam, which has adversely affected the feelings of Muslim community, which could lead to communal controversy. FIR was filed along with a petition signed by 57 persons and copy of various messages posted by the accused. The accused was remanded to judicial custody.

Summary of what was held : Religious harmony must be maintained in our society, one must respect sentiments of other religions as well.

Held in detail : Religious harmony must be maintained in our society, one must respect sentiments of other religions as well.

Link : Link
 

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2019

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 295A: Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.

Name of the Judgement : Manjula Sahdev v. State of Punjab

Citation : CRM-M-18590-2010

Court : Punjab & Haryana High Court
 

Brief Facts : The complainant belongs to Balmiki caste (Scheduled Caste) and is a follower of Lord Balmiki. The petitioner No.1-Dr. Manjula Sahdev, Professor and Head of Department in the department of Religious Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala has published a book titled as "Maharishi Balmik - Ekk Samastik Adhyan". In this publication at page Nos.69 and 75, the petitioner has referred Bhagwan Balmiki as a Dakoo and Lutera and by writing these words in her published book, the petitioner No.1 has hurt the religious sentiments of the whole Balmiki community and has shown utter disrespect to them. With these allegations, the FIR was registered.

Summary of what was held : It is not the task of the criminal law to punish individuals merely for expressing unpopular views. The book was published in the year 1980 and the FIR was registered after a gap of 29 years and there is no allegation that because of the publication any insult or attempt to insult the religions beliefs of the complainant or the people of his community was made or there was intention on the part of the petitioners to do so.

Held in detail : It is not the task of the criminal law to punish individuals merely for expressing unpopular views. The book was published in the year 1980 and the FIR was registered after a gap of 29 years and there is no allegation that because of the publication any insult or attempt to insult the religions beliefs of the complainant or the people of his community was made or there was intention on the part of the petitioners to do so.

Link : Link
 

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2019

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000

Name of the provision : Section 66A: Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc.

Name of the Judgement : Shubham Bansal v. The State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) and Ors.

Citation : CRL.M.C. 2024/2018& Crl. M.A. 7164/2018, 7786/2018, 7787/2018 & 28577/2018

Court : Delhi High Court
 

Brief Facts : The brief facts of the case are that the respondent no.2 filed an application before the police about the commission of an offence under section 66A of the Information & Technology Act (hereinafter referred to as the IT Act). The allegations levelled against the petitioner were that the complainant was a student of law and was undergoing internship. On 06.03.2012, her telephone number 9873748416 started receiving many calls from different numbers who, as per her, were talking non-sense and even some calls from internet which continued non-stop due to which she was unable to even use her telephone for outgoing calls. Accordingly, she lodged a report with Anti Stalking Helpline Desk of Delhi Police.

Summary of what was held : The petition was dismissed as the Judge did not find any mertis in the arguments.

Held in detail : The petition was dismissed as the Judge did not find any mertis in the arguments.

Link : Link
 

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2019

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000

Name of the provision : Section 67A: Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form

Name of the Judgement : Atul Kumar Singh @ Atul Rai vs State Of U.P. And Anr.

Citation : APPLICATION U/S 482 No. - 44386 of 2019

Court : Allahabad High Court
 

Brief Facts : Obscene messages were sent by accused to the respondent. This was considered sufficient for making an offence under section 67A of Information Technology Act, 2000. The accused alleged that he had been falsely implicated in the F.I.R. as it had false and incorrect allegations.

Summary of what was held : The Judge found that the learned counsel for the accused had failed to show any illegality, irregularity, incorrectness or impropriety in the impugned order rejecting his discharge application 30B under sections 420, 376, 504 and 506 IPC and that there was no sufficient ground for interfering with or setting it aside the impugned order.

Held in detail : The Judge found that the learned counsel for the accused had failed to show any illegality, irregularity, incorrectness or impropriety in the impugned order rejecting his discharge application 30B under sections 420, 376, 504 and 506 IPC and that there was no sufficient ground for interfering with or setting it aside the impugned order.

Link : Link
 

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2018

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000

Name of the provision : Section 67 B: Imprisonment for non-payment of fine, when offence punishable with fine only

Name of the Judgement : Vanita Vasant Patil v. The State Of Maharashtra

Citation : CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.935 OF 2014

Court : Bombay High Court
 

Brief Facts : Accused No.1 committed rape on a minor informant and accused No.2 abetted accused No.1 in commission of the said crime. Additionally, accused No.1 taunted and committed sexual assault and harassment on girl students including the informant and also snapped obscene photographs of the informant on his mobile. A charge under Section 376(2)(b), 354, 292, 509, 342, 109 of the IPC and under Section 5(c), 6, 14 and 17 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and under Section 67-B of Information Technology Act against accused No.1 and accused No.2 was framed.

Summary of what was held : The trial Court held that prosecution has failed to prove the guilt against both the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, both the accused deserve to be given benefit of doubt and in absence of cogent, trustworthy, reliable and sufficient evidence. The High Court disagreed with the findings.

Held in detail : The trial Court held that prosecution has failed to prove the guilt against both the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, both the accused deserve to be given benefit of doubt and in absence of cogent, trustworthy, reliable and sufficient evidence. The High Court disagreed with the findings.

Link : Link
 

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2018

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000

Name of the provision : Section 67: Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form

Name of the Judgement : I.Linga Bhaskar v. The State Through The Inspector

Citation : CRL.O.P.(MD)No.3110 of 2017 and Crl.M.P.(MD) Nos. 2366 and 6773 of 2017

Court : Madras High Court
 

Brief Facts : The petitioners as well as the complainant work in the BSNL Department and are all members of an official whatsapp group. The complainant had posted on the group, a video footage of three customers who have spoken about their grievance about the BSNL coverage. Since the conversation uploaded was taken as an act to degrade the indoor staff inclusive of petitioners, the petitioners and few others have posted an emoji, namely, a smiling face with tears. The complainant alleged that the petitioners did this with an intention to humiliate her and filed a complaint.

Summary of what was held : When it is accepted that an emoji is sent to express ones feeling about something, it cannot be treated as an overt act on others. It is a comment, may be intended to ridicule or to show one's disapproval in a given context.

Held in detail : When it is accepted that an emoji is sent to express ones feeling about something, it cannot be treated as an overt act on others. It is a comment, may be intended to ridicule or to show one's disapproval in a given context.

Link : Link
 

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2016

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 499: Defamation- Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person

Name of the Judgement : M.L. Wadhawan v. Zunzarrao Bhikaji Nagarkar and Ord.

Citation : Criminal appeal No. 920 of 2016

Court : Supreme Court
 

Brief Facts : This case was in the nature of appeal filed against the decision of HC pleading the accused guilty of criminal defamation under S. 499, IPC. The applicant made the allegations against the complainant respondent No. 1 without any inquiry or care or caution, actuated by ill-will, malice & improper motive personal to the applicant and not by any desire to protect the interests of accused nos. 1 & 2.

Summary of what was held : The Supreme Court quashed the order of the HC, and allowed the appeal

Held in detail : The Supreme Court quashed the order of the HC, and allowed the appeal

Link : Link
 

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2018

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 120A: Definition of criminal conspiracy

Name of the Judgement : Satyapal Singh and Ors. vs. The State (NCT of Delhi)

Citation : CRL.A. 943/2015

Court : Delhi High Court
 

Brief Facts : The charge against all accused was that on or before 16 th January 2013 at Delhi and Meerut, all the accused, A-1 to A-6, along with Yogesh @ Rinku [declared proclaimed offender („PO‟)] entered into a criminal conspiracy to commit the murder of Ashok Kumar (deceased) as he, being a member of Scheduled Caste („SC‟), dared to marry Seema (PW-1) who belonged to the Thakur caste which had annoyed A-4, her father and thereby all of them committed offences punishable under Section 120B IPC. Satyapal (A-4) threatened Harish Chand (PW-9), the father of the deceased, that he should take care of his son and ensure that the deceased was not seen in Meerut or its vicinity.

Summary of what was held : In the considered view of the Court, the benefit of doubt ought to be given to the two Appellants and therefore, they are acquitted of the offences under Section 120B IPC and 302 IPC. The consequent order on sentence is hereby set aside.

Held in detail : In the considered view of the Court, the benefit of doubt ought to be given to the two Appellants and therefore, they are acquitted of the offences under Section 120B IPC and 302 IPC. The consequent order on sentence is hereby set aside.

Link : Link
 

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2018

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 298: Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person.

Name of the Judgement : Dr. Zakir Abdul Karim Naik vs State Of U.P.

Citation : APPLICATION U/S 482 No. - 15306 of 2011

Court : Allahabad High Court
 

Brief Facts : Brief facts which are requisite to be stated for adjudication of this application are that the opposite party no. 2 filed a complaint on 9.1.2018 before the Chief Judicial Magistrate X, Jhansi with the allegation that in the television programme which was telecasted in Peace TV on 21.1.2006, the applicant had participated in a religious dialogue with Sri Sri Ravi Shanker, the founder of Art of Living foundation, which was held at Bangalore, wherein the applicant had hurt the religious sentiments of a particular community. It is also alleged that applicant had published and distributed a pamphlet just to incite hatred and ill-will amongst different communities. It is relevant to reproduce the extract of what has been quoted in Para No. 7 of the complaint as follows:- "Every Muslim should be a terrorist. A terrorist is a person who causes terror. The moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified. A policeman is a terrorist for the robber. Similarly every Muslim should be terrorist for the anti-social elements of society, such as thieves, dacoits and rapist. Whenever such an anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the word Terrorist is generally used for a person who causes terror amongst the common people. But a true Muslim should only be a terrorist to selective people i.e. anti-social elements, and not to the common innocent people. In fact, a Muslim should be a source of peace for innocent."

Summary of what was held : Not Provided

Held in detail : Not Provided

Link : Link
 

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2018

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 499: Defamation- Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person

Name of the Judgement : Push Sharma V Dainik Bhaskar Corporation Limited and Ors. FAO (OS) 93/2018& C.M. APPL. 23811/ 2018

Citation : Not Provided

Court : Delhi High Court
 

Brief Facts : Dainik Bhaskar was granted an ex-parte temporary injunction by single judge bench of Delhi High Court against screening of videos made by Cobrapost.com. The videos showed eight persons of Dianik Bhaskar group accepting money to present paid news with partisan ideology on their platform. Dainik Jagran had alleged the videos were defamatory in nature. The order was appealed before a two judge bench of Delhi High Court calling the order “ super injuction” at it had the impact of freezing publication of the allegations for the duration of the legal proceedings.

Summary of what was held : Held that it was impermissible to grant ex-parte injunction.

Held in detail : Held that it was impermissible to grant ex-parte injunction.

Link : Link
 

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2017

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 482: Punishment for using a false property mark

Name of the Judgement : S. Khusboo v. Kanniamal & Anr

Citation : CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 913 of 2010 [Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 4010 of 2008]

Court : Supreme Court
 

Brief Facts : The appellant is a well known actress who has approached this Court to seek quashing of criminal proceedings pending against her. As many as 23 Criminal Complaints were filed against her, mostly in the State of Tamil Nadu, for the offences contemplated under Sections 499, 500 and 505 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 [hereinafter `IPC'] and Sections 4 and 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 [hereinafter `Act 1986']. The trigger for the same were some remarks made by the appellant in an interview to a leading news magazine and later on the same issue was reported in a distorted manner in another periodical. Faced with the predicament of contesting the criminal proceedings instituted against her in several locations, the appellant had approached the High Court of Madras, praying for the quashing of these proceedings through the exercise of its inherent power under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 [hereinafter `Cr.PC.']. The High Court rejected her plea vide impugned judgment and order dated 30.4.2008. At the same time, in order to prevent the inconvenience of litigating the same subject-matter in multiple locations directed that all the cases instituted against the appellant be consolidated and tried together by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore (Chennai). Aggrieved by the aforesaid judgment, the appellant approached this Court by way of a batch of Special Leave Petitions.

Summary of what was held : The Supreme Court opined that to ensure free flow of the ideas in a society, it needs to be ensured that people are not in a constant fear to face the dire consequences for voicing out their ideas, inconsistent with the current celebrated opinion.

Held in detail : The Supreme Court opined that to ensure free flow of the ideas in a society, it needs to be ensured that people are not in a constant fear to face the dire consequences for voicing out their ideas, inconsistent with the current celebrated opinion.

Link : Link
 

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2017

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 499: Defamation- Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person

Name of the Judgement : Raghav Chadha V. State & Anr.

Citation : SLP(Crl)Nos.6526-6527/17

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : Arun Jaitley, the Indian Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting, filed a criminal complaint accusing Raghav Chadha, a member of an opposition party, and other individuals of defamation. The accused Petitioner had retweeted alleged defamatory remarks made by CM Arvind Kejriwal.

Summary of what was held : Whether prima facie case of defamation is made out against the petitioner for posting defamatory content online. Whether a retweet constitutes publication as required for the offence of criminal defamation

Held in detail : Whether prima facie case of defamation is made out against the petitioner for posting defamatory content online. Whether a retweet constitutes publication as required for the offence of criminal defamation

Link : Link
 

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2017

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 295A: Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.

Name of the Judgement : Aash Mohammad vs State Of Haryana And Ors

Citation : CWP 9048 of 2017

Court : Punjab-Haryana High Court
 

Brief Facts : Pursuant to the following tweets by respondent No.4: "1. Sonu Nigam @sonunigam.God bless everyone. I'm not a Muslim and I have to be woken up by the Azaan in the morning. When will this forced religiousness end in India? Sonu Nigam @sonunigam. And by the way Mohammed did not have electricity when he made Islam. Why do I have to have this cacophony after Edison? I don't believe in any temple or gurudwara using electricity to wake up people who don't follow the religion. ISSUE: Whether any offence under Section 295 A IPC stands committed qua the petitioner by the abovesaid act?

Summary of what was held : If the contents of complaint are seen in context to the provisions of Section 295 A IPC, the words attributed to the petitioner in the tweet are not meant to insult any religion or religious belief of any class of citizens of India and are not apparently deliberate or malicious. The contents of the complainant annexure P-3 does not reflect commission of any offence under Section 295 A IPC as such no direction is warranted to launch criminal prosecution against respondent No.4.

Held in detail : If the contents of complaint are seen in context to the provisions of Section 295 A IPC, the words attributed to the petitioner in the tweet are not meant to insult any religion or religious belief of any class of citizens of India and are not apparently deliberate or malicious. The contents of the complainant annexure P-3 does not reflect commission of any offence under Section 295 A IPC as such no direction is warranted to launch criminal prosecution against respondent No.4.

Link : Link
 

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2016

 
 
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.

Name of the Judgement : Sharat Babu Digumarti vs Govt Of Nct Of Delhi

Citation : CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1222 OF 2016 (Arising out of S.L.P. (Criminal) No. 7675 of 2015)

Court : Supreme Court
 

Brief Facts : The appellant along one Avnish Bajaj and others was arrayed as an accused in FIR No. 645 of 2004. After the investigation was concluded, charge sheet was filed before the learned Metropolitan Magistrate who on 14.02.2006 took cognizance of the offences punishable under Sections 292 and 294 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (for short, “the IT Act”) against all of them.

Summary of what was held : "In view of the aforesaid analysis and the authorities referred to hereinabove, we are of the considered opinion that the High Court has fallen into error that though charge has not been made out under Section 67 of the IT Act, yet the appellant could be proceeded under Section 292 IPC."

Held in detail : "In view of the aforesaid analysis and the authorities referred to hereinabove, we are of the considered opinion that the High Court has fallen into error that though charge has not been made out under Section 67 of the IT Act, yet the appellant could be proceeded under Section 292 IPC."

Link : Link
 

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2016

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 124 A: Sedition- Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government estab­lished by law in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine

Name of the Judgement : Common Cause & Anr. v. Union of India

Citation : Writ Petition (Civil) No. 683 Of 2016

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : A writ petition was filed in the Supreme Court of India by Mr. Prashant Bhushan, Ms. Neha Rathi and Pranav Sachdeva requesting for issuance of apprpriate writ in such proceedings reasoned orders are passed by appropriate authority and Magistrate so that public disorder is not created

Summary of what was held : The Supreme Court directed the authorities to be guided by principles laid down in Kedar Nath Singh.

Held in detail : The Supreme Court directed the authorities to be guided by principles laid down in Kedar Nath Singh.

Link : Link
 

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2016

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 499: Defamation- Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person

Name of the Judgement : Subramanian Swamy V. Union of India (UoI) and Ors

Citation : WP (C) 184/2014

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : A batch of petitions were filed under Art 32 of Constitution challenging the constitutional validity of offence of criminal defamation under Sec 499 of IPC and Sec 500 of CrPC. ISSUE: Ascertaining the constitutional validity of Sec 499 of IPC and Sec 500 of CrPC.

Summary of what was held : SC upheld the constitutionality of Sec 499 and Sec 500.

Held in detail : SC upheld the constitutionality of Sec 499 and Sec 500.

Link : Link
 

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2015

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 499: Defamation- Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person

Name of the Judgement : Foundation for Media Professionals through its director Manoj Mittal v. Union of India

Citation : (2015) 9 SCC 252

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : Writ petition filed by the petitioner challenging the constitutional validity of Ss. 499 and 500 on account of these being violative of Arts. 14, 19 and 21 and

Summary of what was held : The matter is sub-judice

Held in detail : The matter is sub-judice

Link : Not Provided
 

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2015

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 124 A: Sedition- Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government estab­lished by law in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine

Name of the Judgement : Arun Jaitley v. State of U.P

Citation : APPLICATION U/S 482 No. - 32703 of 2015

Court : Allahbad High Court
 

Brief Facts : The record reveals that the Judicial Magistrate taking suo moto cognizance has proceeded to summon the applicant under Sections 124 A and 505 of the Penal Code. The concerned Magistrate has taken cognizance of the alleged offences on the basis of an article written by the applicant and posted on his Facebook page. The article is titled as ''NJAC Judgement-An Alternative View'. The Magistrate has recorded that no citizen has a right to disrespect the three pillars of our democracy namely, the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. He then proceeds to record that an order of a Court can be questioned only by following a procedure prescribed by law. The order then states that no person is entitled to create or generate hatred or contempt against an elected Government established by law. The Magistrate upon recording the above conclusions holds that the comments made by the applicant undoubtedly spread hatred and contempt against a duly elected Government and accordingly, in his opinion, the applicant prima facie appears to have committed offences under Section 124A and 505 I.P.C.

Summary of what was held : 16. The contents of the article written by the applicant can by no stretch of imagination be said to be intended to create public disorder or be designed or aimed at exciting the public against a Government established by law or an organ of the State. The article merely seeks to voice the opinion and the view of the author of the need to strike a balance between the functioning of two important pillars of the country. It is surely not a call to arms.

Held in detail : 16. The contents of the article written by the applicant can by no stretch of imagination be said to be intended to create public disorder or be designed or aimed at exciting the public against a Government established by law or an organ of the State. The article merely seeks to voice the opinion and the view of the author of the need to strike a balance between the functioning of two important pillars of the country. It is surely not a call to arms.

Link : Link
 

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2015

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : Section 124 A: Sedition- Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government estab­lished by law in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine

Name of the Judgement : Sanskar Marathe v. The State of Maharashtra

Citation : CRIMINAL PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION NO. 3 OF 2015

Court : Bombay High Court
 

Brief Facts : 2. The allegation in the FIR is to the effect that Assem Trivedi, who is a political cartoonist and social activist, through his cartoons, not only defamed Parliament, the Constitution of India and the Ashok Emblem but also tried to spread hatred and disrespect against the Government and published the said cartoons on `India Against Corruption" website, which not only amounts to insult under the National Emblems Act but also amounts to serious act of sedition. After the arrest of Assem Trivedi on 9 September 2012, he was produced before the learned Metropolitan Magistrate. The petitioner alleged that Assem Trivedi refused to make an application for bail till the charges of sedition were dropped. Contending that publication and/or posting such political cartoons on website can by no stretch of imagination attract a serious charge of sedition and that Assem Trivedi was languishing in jail on account of the charge of sedition being included in the FIR, the petitioner, a practicing advocate in this Court, moved the present PIL on 11 2 / 21 Cri.PIL 3-2015 September 2012.

Summary of what was held : (i) The words, signs or representations must bring the Government (Central or State) into hatred or contempt or must cause or attempt to cause disaffection, enmity or disloyalty to the Government and the words/signs/ representation must also be an incitement to violence or must be intended or tend to create public disorder or a reasonable apprehension of public disorder; (ii) Words, signs or representations against politicians or public servants by themselves do not fall in this category unless the words/signs/representations show them as representative of the Government; (iii) Comments expressing disapproval or criticism of the Government with a view to obtaining a change of government by lawful 19 / 21 Cri.PIL 3-2015 means without any of the above are not seditious under Section 124A; (iv) Obscenity or vulgarity by itself should not be taken into account as a factor or consideration for deciding whether a case falls within the purview of Section 124A of IPC, for they are covered under other sections of law;

Held in detail : (i) The words, signs or representations must bring the Government (Central or State) into hatred or contempt or must cause or attempt to cause disaffection, enmity or disloyalty to the Government and the words/signs/ representation must also be an incitement to violence or must be intended or tend to create public disorder or a reasonable apprehension of public disorder; (ii) Words, signs or representations against politicians or public servants by themselves do not fall in this category unless the words/signs/representations show them as representative of the Government; (iii) Comments expressing disapproval or criticism of the Government with a view to obtaining a change of government by lawful 19 / 21 Cri.PIL 3-2015 means without any of the above are not seditious under Section 124A; (iv) Obscenity or vulgarity by itself should not be taken into account as a factor or consideration for deciding whether a case falls within the purview of Section 124A of IPC, for they are covered under other sections of law;

Link : Link
 

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2015

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000

Name of the provision : 66A: Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc.

Name of the Judgement : Shreya Singhal v Union of India

Citation : WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO.167 OF 2012

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : Police arrested two women for posting allegedly offensive and objectionable comments on Facebook about the propriety of shutting down the city of Mumbai after the death of a political leader. The police made the arrests under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act of 2000 (ITA), which punishes any person who sends through a computer resource or communication device any information that is grossly offensive, or with the knowledge of its falsity, the information is transmitted for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, insult, injury, hatred, or ill will. Although the police later released the women and dismissed their prosecution, the incident invoked substantial media attention and criticism. The women then filed a petition, challenging the constitutional validity of Section 66A on the ground that it violates the right to freedom of expression. The Supreme Court of India initially issued an interim measure in Singhal v. Union of India, (2013) 12 S.C.C. 73, prohibiting any arrest pursuant to Section 66A unless such arrest is approved by senior police officers. In the case in hand, the Court addressed the constitutionality of the provision ISSUE: This batch of writ petitions filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India raises very important and far-reaching questions relatable primarily to the fundamental right of free speech and expression guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. The immediate cause for concern in these petitions is Section 66A of the Information Technology Act of 2000.

Summary of what was held : Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 is struck down in its entirety being violative of Article 19(1)(a) and not saved under Article 19(2). Section 69A and the Information Technology (Procedure & Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 are constitutionally valid. Section 79 is valid subject to Section 79(3)(b) being read down to mean that an intermediary upon receiving actual knowledge from a court order or on being notified by the appropriate government or its agency that unlawful acts relatable to Article 19(2) are going to be committed then fails to expeditiously remove or disable access to such material. Similarly, the Information Technology "Intermediary Guidelines" Rules, 2011 are valid subject to Rule 3 sub-rule (4) being read down in the same manner as indicated in the judgment.

Held in detail : Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 is struck down in its entirety being violative of Article 19(1)(a) and not saved under Article 19(2). Section 69A and the Information Technology (Procedure & Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 are constitutionally valid. Section 79 is valid subject to Section 79(3)(b) being read down to mean that an intermediary upon receiving actual knowledge from a court order or on being notified by the appropriate government or its agency that unlawful acts relatable to Article 19(2) are going to be committed then fails to expeditiously remove or disable access to such material. Similarly, the Information Technology "Intermediary Guidelines" Rules, 2011 are valid subject to Rule 3 sub-rule (4) being read down in the same manner as indicated in the judgment.

Link : Link
 

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2013

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 505. Statements conducing to public mischief

Name of the Judgement : N.Sengodan v. Secretary To Govt. Home Chennai

Citation : CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4815 OF 2013 (ARISING OUT OF SLP(C) NO.32704 OF 2010)

Court : Supreme Court
 

Brief Facts : The Appellant, after his retirement, voiced the merits of forming an Association through which demands of members of the police force could be legally made to set right the wrongs committed to them. While so, Tamil Daily Malai Murasu dated 18th December, 1997, published a news item allegedly authored by the appellant. Based on the said news item, the then Inspector of Police, Fairlands Police Station, Salem City had registered a case for offence under Section 3 of the Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act, 1922 and Section 505(1)(b) of the Indian Penal Code. Further, on 7th January, 1998 and the appellant was arrested and remanded to judicial custody.

Summary of what was held : The respondent-State and its officers have grossly abused legal power to punish the appellant to destroy his reputation in a manner non-oriented by law by detaining him under the Tamil Nadu Act 14 of 1982 in lodging a Criminal Case No.11/98 under Section 3 of the Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act, 1992 and under Section 505(1)(b) of the IPC based on the wrong statements which were fully unwarranted.

Held in detail : The respondent-State and its officers have grossly abused legal power to punish the appellant to destroy his reputation in a manner non-oriented by law by detaining him under the Tamil Nadu Act 14 of 1982 in lodging a Criminal Case No.11/98 under Section 3 of the Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act, 1992 and under Section 505(1)(b) of the IPC based on the wrong statements which were fully unwarranted.

Link : Link
 

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2013

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000

Name of the provision : 66A: Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc.

Name of the Judgement : Manoj Oswal vs Sakal Papers Pvt.Ltd

Citation : CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO.314 of 2012

Court : Bombay High Court
 

Brief Facts : The complaint alleges that one Prataprao Govindrao Pawar is Chairman of M/s Sakal Papers Private Limited. This Company is incorporated and registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1956. It is engaged in the business of printing and publishing news papers in the States of Maharashtra and Goa. The Company has also Website, therefore, publications have wide circulation throughout India and abroad. One Abhijeet Prataprao Pawar is Director on the Board of Directors of the said Company. One Leelatai Parulekar is also a Director and she is daughter of the founder of the said Company, namely, late Dr.Nanasaheb Parulekar. It is alleged that there was function organized on 20.09.2011 to celebrate 114th Birth Anniversary of Dr.Nanasaheb Parulekar. That programme was organized at Balgandharva Rangmandir, Pune at 06:00 PM in the evening. The function was attended by high dignitaries and Mr.Prataprao Pawar was also personally present. When that programme was going on, a person i.e. the Petitioner, intending to obstruct the same and to create chaos and confusion, entered the hall although he was not an invitee. He was distributing some pamphlets. He had entered the hall *3* wp.314.12.sxw after pushing several persons. The pamphlets contain the defamatory material against the said Prataprao Pawar. The Petitioner was also seen speaking in defamatory language to those present in the audience. One such pamphlet was given to the employee of the said Company, namely, Dhananjay Divakar. The said Dhananjay Divakar also saw the Petitioner in the hall and at that time, the Complainant Mr.Mahendra Pisal, General Manager of the Company, was shown this pamphlet. On reading it, he found that it contains defamatory statements and also refers to websites, namely, www.savelila.com and www.jeevraksha.org. The Petitioner was calling upon the people in the audience to view these websites.On accessing those websites, the Complainant noticed that they contained several defamatory statements and material against Prataprao Pawar and whole purpose was to defame him. Thus, these are the statements made by the Petitioner and some of his associates, although these persons have no connection with the said Company or the said Leelatai Parulekar or her social work. The statements were made to malign and defame Prataprao Pawar. For all these reasons, it was alleged that they have committed the offences punishable under the aforementioned provisions.

Summary of what was held : Not Provided

Held in detail : Not Provided

Link : Link
 

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2013

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000

Name of the provision : 67: Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form.

Name of the Judgement : Of India vs . Prafulla Kumar

Citation : 1979 AIR 366, 1979 SCR (2) 229

Court : Delhi District Court
 

Brief Facts : The present FIR was registered on the statement of complainant Sh. Sachin for commission of the offence punishable U/S 292 IPC and Section 67 of Information Technology Act . It is alleged by the complainant Sachin that he was having the mobile phone make NOKIA 6681 with number 9818023999. He alleged that few days back he has seen the blue film at his mobile phone which has been up loaded by Dev @ Hassan who has taken his phone. He alleged that in this picture one person namely Dhan Raj, who is his neighbour and one girl is seen whom he identified. He alleged that he had seen the movie and felt bad, hence deleted the picture. The complainant further alleged that again on 11.05.06 he received the same picture on his mobile phone at about 9.40 pm. He stated that the said picture was prepared by Dhan Raj alongwith his girl friend and transmitted the same to him. He alleged that the said obscene picture has been sent to his mobile phone through mobile phone and they have also sent the same on other mobile phone, therefore, appropriate action may kindly be taken.

Summary of what was held : The perusal of the record reveals that there was no material at all on record, either to arrest the said accused or to sent her to face the trial. Therefore, considering the facts and circumstances accused Ms. Neha is discharged in the present case.

Held in detail : The perusal of the record reveals that there was no material at all on record, either to arrest the said accused or to sent her to face the trial. Therefore, considering the facts and circumstances accused Ms. Neha is discharged in the present case.

Link : Link
 

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2013

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 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.

Name of the Judgement : Akbaruddin Owaisi vs The Govt. Of A.P.

Citation : Writ Petition No. 824 of 2013

Court : Andhra High Court
 

Brief Facts : The petitioner delivered a speech on 08.12.2012 at Nizamabad which resulted in a public outcry. Crime No.1 of 2013, for offences under Sections 153, 153A and 295A IPC, was registered on 02.01.2013 by the third respondent at Nizamabad. In the meanwhile the ninth respondent filed a private complaint before the IV Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Hyderabad which was referred, under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C, to the fifth respondent who registered the said complaint as Crime No.5 of 2013 for the offence under Section 153A IPC. Another speech delivered by the petitioner on 22.12.2012, at Nirmal in Adilabad District, resulted in Crime No.1 of 2013 being registered by the fourth respondent on 02.01.2013 for offences under Sections 153A and 121 IPC.

Summary of what was held : Not Provided

Held in detail : Not Provided

Link : Link
 

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2013

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 293: Sale, etc., of obscene book, etc. to young person

Name of the Judgement : Gita Ram and Ors. vs. State of H.P.

Citation : CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 227 OF 2013 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.2537/2012)

Court : Supreme Court
 

Brief Facts : The prosecution case was that on 07.12.2001 on the basis of secret information the patrolling party raided the premises in Dhawan Video Hall, Sai Road and found that the appellants were showing blue film to young men and about 15 viewers were there in the hall. It was alleged that CD of blue film, namely “Size Matter” was displayed by the appellants to the viewers on Videocon TV Sony C.D. player, one CD namely “Size Matter”, two C.Ds. of “Jawani Ka Khel”, remote, ticket book, T.V. and poster were taken into possession in the presence of the witnesses.

Summary of what was held : Appellants were sentenced to simple imprisonment for one month each. The imposition of fine of Rs.1,000/- for the offence under Section 292 IPC and further fine of Rs.1000/- was imposed on them for offence under Section 7 of the Cinematograph Act, were maintained.

Held in detail : Appellants were sentenced to simple imprisonment for one month each. The imposition of fine of Rs.1,000/- for the offence under Section 292 IPC and further fine of Rs.1000/- was imposed on them for offence under Section 7 of the Cinematograph Act, were maintained.

Link : Link
 

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2011

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 120B: Punishment of criminal conspiracy

Name of the Judgement : Dr Vinayak Binayak Sen vs State Of Chhattisgarh

Citation : Criminal Appeal No 20 of 2011 & Criminal Appeal No54 of 2011

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : Binayak Sen was convicted for the offense of sedition by a sessions court in 2010. He filed an application for suspension of sentence and grant of bail during the pendency of the appeal against the conviction and sentence. The Chhattisgarh High Court dismissed the application. Sen preferred an appeal before the Supreme Court of India against the high court order.

Summary of what was held : The Supreme Court of India ordered the release of activist Binayak Sen, who was convicted and sentenced on charges of sedition by the lower court, on bail during the pendency of the appeal against his conviction. Binayak Sen was convicted for the offense of sedition in 2010 and appealed for suspension of the sentence and grant of bail, which was rejected by the Chhattisgarh High Court. Sen then appealed the high court order before the Supreme Court of India. The Court allowed Sen’s appeal but did not explain the reasoning.

Held in detail : The Supreme Court of India ordered the release of activist Binayak Sen, who was convicted and sentenced on charges of sedition by the lower court, on bail during the pendency of the appeal against his conviction. Binayak Sen was convicted for the offense of sedition in 2010 and appealed for suspension of the sentence and grant of bail, which was rejected by the Chhattisgarh High Court. Sen then appealed the high court order before the Supreme Court of India. The Court allowed Sen’s appeal but did not explain the reasoning.

Link : Link
 

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2011

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 171G: False statement in connection with an election

Name of the Judgement : KHANPARA VINODBHAI LALJIBHAI vs. RETURNING OFFICER,GRAM PANCHAYAT GENERAL ELECTION-2011

Citation : SPECIAL CIVIL APPLICATION NO. 928 of 2012

Court : Gujrat High Court
 

Brief Facts : the respondent No.2 filled in the nomination form / submitted the nomination papers for the post of Sarpanch of the Khorasa (Gir) Gram Panchayat on 14/12/2011, he was already facing criminal prosecution for the offences punishable under sections 427 and 114 of Indian Penal Code i.e. he was accused for the C/SCA/928/2012 JUDGMENT aforesaid offences punishable with imprisonment of two years or more in which charges were framed against by the court having competent jurisdiction for the offences punishable under sections 447, 427 and 114 of Indian Penal Code, however, he did not disclose in the affidavit sworn by him in Form No.4 about the same.

Summary of what was held : The present petition succeeds. The respondent No.1 - Returning Officer is hereby directed to perform its statutory duty under the relevant rules and order dated 28/6/2011 issued by the State Election Commission and to file criminal complaint / proceedings against the respondent No.2 for the offences under the appropriate law before the concerned authority for withholding the material information.

Held in detail : The present petition succeeds. The respondent No.1 - Returning Officer is hereby directed to perform its statutory duty under the relevant rules and order dated 28/6/2011 issued by the State Election Commission and to file criminal complaint / proceedings against the respondent No.2 for the offences under the appropriate law before the concerned authority for withholding the material information.

Link : Link
 

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2010

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 499: Defamation- Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person 500: Punishment for defamation- Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Name of the Judgement : Jeffrey J. Diermeier v. State of West Bengal

Citation : 2010 (3) ALT (Crl.) 8 (SC) : 2010 (5) SCJ 629 : Criminal Appeal No. 1079 of 2010 (SLP Crl. No. 898 of 2009) - 14 May, 2010

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : Respondents filed a complaint against appellants alleging that a public notice issued by appellants were defamatory. The public notice issued a “word of caution” to students and sought to clarify the confusion over the name CFA trademark stating that ICFAI institute wrongly used the term CFA for selling its educational programmes. The notice quoted a High Court order to support its notice. The Appellants contended that “word of caution” was a public duty and a legitimate expression. ISSUES Was the advertisement issued in “ good faith” and for “ public good” as contemplated under 10th exception to Section 499 of IPC. Were applicants entitled to protection under Explanation 4 of Section 499 of IPC.

Summary of what was held : Not Provided

Held in detail : Not Provided

Link : Link
 

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2010

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 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.

Name of the Judgement : R.V. Bhasin vs 2 Marine Drive Police Station

Citation : CRIMINAL APPLICATION NO.1421 OF 2007

Court : Bombay High Court
 

Brief Facts : The applicant, who is an advocate, is the author of a book entitled "Islam - A concept of Political World Invasion By Muslims". The book was published in 2003 by National Publications, 76, Bajaj Bhavan, Nariman Point, Mumbai of which the applicant claims to be the proprietor. The book was translated into Hindi by Dr. Anil Mishra. A Hindi Newspaper “Dopahar Ka Samna” dated 20 January, 2007 an article is published captioned as “ Dhamki Aadmee Apna Hee Jugaad” translated Book, and an offence has been registered against the Editor, Executive Editor, Printer and Writer of the said Book under sections 153A, 295A, 505 read with 34 of Indian Penal Code in Dadar Police Station as C.R. No.34/07;

Summary of what was held : Not Provided

Held in detail : Not Provided

Link : Link
 

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2010

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 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.

Name of the Judgement : Dr. Ashish Nandy vs State Of Gujarat & Anr

Citation : W.P. (Criminal) No.801 of 2008 & C.M. Appl. No.7496 of 2008

Court : Delhi High Court
 

Brief Facts : The petitioner has claimed that he was an eminent academician of international repute. He wrote an article in Delhi which was published on 8th January, 2008 in National edition of Times of India as well as in local editions of Times of India, a daily newspaper. His article was a critical analysis of outcome of Gujarat Legislative Election held in December, 2007 and he had commented on a sad and unfortunate polarization amongst people of Gujarat. Respondent No.2, Sh. V.K. Saxena, President of National Council for Civil Liberties having office at Ahmedabad served a notice on petitioner on 18th January, 2008 alleging that the article contained intemperate, distasteful, undue harsh, vituperative and sharp statement showing Gujarat in general and Gujaratis in particular in low light. Thereafter, Mr. Saxena made an application to the Government of Gujarat seeking permission to lodge F.I.R. against the petitioner for offences under Sections 153-A and 153-B IPC. This permission was accorded and F.I.R. was registered against the petitioner under Sections 153-A and 153-B IPC at Satellite Police Station. The petitioner learnt about registration of F.I.R. through newspapers.

Summary of what was held : The petition has not force and is hereby dismissed.

Held in detail : The petition has not force and is hereby dismissed.

Link : Link
 

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2010

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 298 Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person.

Name of the Judgement : Hulikal Nataraju v. State Of Karnataka

Citation : W.P.No. 1750/zoos

Court : Karnataka HC
 

Brief Facts : The Respondent alleged that the petitioner stated on a TV Channel that he will create ‘Thirthodbhava at Talakaveri’, ‘The eagle revolving round Garudagambha at Sri. Aiyappaswamy Temple as false’ and also the ‘Light that appears on Makara Sankranthi as false’. These alleged statements wounded the Hindu religious beliefs, practices and customs.

Summary of what was held : In the complaint, it is not alleged that the petitioner directly uttered any words to the respondent offending him or that he uttered words with deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of respondent. In the absence of these essential ingredients in the complaint, there is no offence committed by the petitioner under Section 298 of IPC and thus, the complaint is quashed.

Held in detail : In the complaint, it is not alleged that the petitioner directly uttered any words to the respondent offending him or that he uttered words with deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of respondent. In the absence of these essential ingredients in the complaint, there is no offence committed by the petitioner under Section 298 of IPC and thus, the complaint is quashed.

Link : Link
 

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2009

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000

Name of the provision : 66A: Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc.

Name of the Judgement : L.K.Jaseer v. The State Of Kerala

Citation : Crl.MC.No. 2016 of 2009

Court : Kerala HC
 

Brief Facts : FIR shows that the case is registered under Section 66A of Information Technology Act, 2000 as amended by Amendment Act of 2008. This petition is filed under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure to quash the said FIR contending that when the amended Section 66A is yet to come into force , as Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 is not so far notified, no case could be registered for the said offence.

Summary of what was held : The petition is allowed. FIR for the offence under Section 66A of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2000 as amended by Amendment Act of 2008 is quashed.

Held in detail : The petition is allowed. FIR for the offence under Section 66A of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2000 as amended by Amendment Act of 2008 is quashed.

Link : Link
 

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2008

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 298 Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person.

Name of the Judgement : Maqbool Fida Husain v. Raj Kumar Pandey

Citation : Crl. Revision Petition Nos. 282/07; 114/2007 & 280/2007

Court : Delhi HC
 

Brief Facts : The petitioner painted a contemporary painting which depicts India in an abstract and graphical representation of a woman in nude with her hair flowing in the form of Himalayas displaying her agony. The said painting was sold to a private collector in the year 2004 and that the petitioner did not deal with the same in any manner whatsoever after sale. Subsequently in the year 2006, the said painting entitled "Bharat Mata" was advertised as part of an on-line auction for charity for Kashmir earthquake victims organized by a NGO with which the petitioner claims to have no involvement. The petitioner at no point in time had given a title to the said painting. The advertisement of the said painting led to large scale protests for which the petitioner also had to tender an apology. There were numerous private complaints filed and the petitioner approached SC for consolidation of the matter.

Summary of what was held : For the offence to be made out under Section 298 IPC, the accused must have a deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of the complainant by uttering some word or making some sound or a gesture or placing an object in the sight of the complainant. A liberal tolerance of a different point of view causes no damage. It means only a greater self restraint. Diversity in expression of views whether in writings, paintings or visual media encourages debate.

Held in detail : For the offence to be made out under Section 298 IPC, the accused must have a deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of the complainant by uttering some word or making some sound or a gesture or placing an object in the sight of the complainant. A liberal tolerance of a different point of view causes no damage. It means only a greater self restraint. Diversity in expression of views whether in writings, paintings or visual media encourages debate.

Link : Link
 

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2005

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 499: Defamation- Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person

Name of the Judgement : Valmiki Falerio v. Mrs. Lauriana Fernandes & Ors.

Citation : (2005) CrLJ 2498 (Bom)

Court : Bombay High Court
 

Brief Facts : A notice was filed by the accused , which read as under : Public is hereby warned by this notice to refrain from purchasing the plots or not to enter into any kind of sale transaction of whatsoever nature in respect of the said property with the aforesaid persons who have no right, title to enter into sale transaction. Despite this publication of notice the public still enter into transaction of sale, then they shall do so at their own risk and consequences. Mrs. Lauriana Fernandes e Diniz, Luciana Diniz and Anastasia Diniz 12-5-2001

Summary of what was held : A person reading the said notice may at first flush be a little amused that the said accused are claiming a set of villages rather than think that it is published with a view to defame the complainant. All that the said accused have conveyed by the said notice is that the property/properties do not belong to the complainant but belong to them and that anyone dealing with the complainant will be doing so at their own risk. The contention that the said notice is per se defamatory and that it attributes dishonest intention that the complainant lacks business character and propriety appears to be a figment of the complainant's imagination.

Held in detail : A person reading the said notice may at first flush be a little amused that the said accused are claiming a set of villages rather than think that it is published with a view to defame the complainant. All that the said accused have conveyed by the said notice is that the property/properties do not belong to the complainant but belong to them and that anyone dealing with the complainant will be doing so at their own risk. The contention that the said notice is per se defamatory and that it attributes dishonest intention that the complainant lacks business character and propriety appears to be a figment of the complainant's imagination.

Link : Link
 

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2005

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 295A: Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.

Name of the Judgement : Sujato Bhadra vs State Of West Bengal

Citation : (2005) 3 CALLT 436 HC

Court : Calcutta High Court
 

Brief Facts : (1) that the book "Dwikhandita" is the third volume of the autobiographical trilogy of the author; (2) that she, herself a woman, had written the alleged offending part in the context of the status of women in the society in Bangladesh emanating from adoption of Islam as a State religion; (3) that she was expressing her own view and political thoughts/philosophy in relation to the Constitution of Bangladesh of which secularism was one of its salient features since deviated from, subsequently, by the State by adoption of Islam as a State religion doing away with the secularism to suit the particular purpose of the particular ruler; (4) that the author has been in exile from her own motherland for some other earlier writings that she understood to be the result of religious fundamentalism against which she was unable to obtain any protection from the State machinery in her own motherland; (5) that she was attempting to expose the politico-religious situation affecting the society as a whole pushing the position of women into an absolute insolent and abominable existence dominated by the male counterparts in the name of religion aided and abated by the State machinery guided by the State religion; (6) that she was attempting to strike hard to deliver a shock in order to awake the sleeping/dormant conscience of the people of Bangladesh to restore secular democracy initially subscribed by the Constitution of Bangladesh and eradicate the maladies of the society and for paving the ways for emancipation of the women and the society; (7) that she had pointed out to the darkness befalling the State of Bangladesh and the society on account of religious belief by pointing out the debilities and ill effects inherent in the religious belief opposed to the true religion preached by Islam, a religion of humanity and mankind.

Summary of what was held : Thus, as the book written in the context of author's country of origin does not deliberately and maliciously intend to outrage the religious feelings of. any community of India, and since the theme of the book is the hapless condition of women in that country, in our view, it does not come within the ambit of Section 295A of the IPC and, therefore, the order of forfeiture under Section 95 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. 1973 is unwarranted, cannot be sustained, and is, therefore, set aside.

Held in detail : Thus, as the book written in the context of author's country of origin does not deliberately and maliciously intend to outrage the religious feelings of. any community of India, and since the theme of the book is the hapless condition of women in that country, in our view, it does not come within the ambit of Section 295A of the IPC and, therefore, the order of forfeiture under Section 95 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. 1973 is unwarranted, cannot be sustained, and is, therefore, set aside.

Link : Link
 

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2004

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 505 Statements conducing to public mischief

Name of the Judgement : Yashwant Venilal Sanghvi v. Sahdevsinh Dilubha Zala

Citation : (2006) 3 GLR 1873

Court : Gujarat HC
 

Brief Facts : It is alleged that the petitioners have printed and published a booklet comprising of defamatory writings in the name of "Jagrut Parivar" by hatching conspiracy against Pandurang Athavle Shastri and religious activities of "Swadhyaya Parivar" and spreading the booklet. Thereby, they have committed offence of abetting each other to hurt religious feelings of "Swadhyaya Parivar" and to raise communal disputes and to create fear among people.

Summary of what was held : Section 505 is attracted as the offending publication has incited or is likely to incite, a class or community of persons to commit an offence against any other class or community.

Held in detail : Section 505 is attracted as the offending publication has incited or is likely to incite, a class or community of persons to commit an offence against any other class or community.

Link : Link
 

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2004

 
 
Act : Information Technology Act, 2000

Name of the provision : 67: Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form.

Name of the Judgement : Suhas Katti v. Tamil Nadu

Citation : CC. No. 4680 of 2004

Court : Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore
 

Brief Facts : The accused was the family friend of the victim. The accused wanted to marry the victim but the victim refused and married another person. The marriage broke apart. On seeing this, the accused saw this as an opportunity and asked her for marriage. The victim refused again. On being refused, the accused posted obscene and defamatory messages about the said victim on Yahoo messenger groups harming her reputation and insulting her modesty. The accused also forwarded emails received in a fake account opened by him in the victim’s name. The posting of messages resulted in annoying calls to the victim. The calls were in the belief the victim is soliciting for sex work. The victim was fed up with the harassment took steps against it and filed a report again him. The accused was arrested and he reiterated that he did not do such a thing.

Summary of what was held : The IP address belonging to the harasser was same as the accused. The Cyber Café owner, an eye-witness, gave statement against the accused. After relying on the expert witnesses and other evidences produced before Court, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate held the accused guilty of offences under Section 469, Section 509 IPC and Section 67 of Information Technology Act, 2000.

Held in detail : The IP address belonging to the harasser was same as the accused. The Cyber Café owner, an eye-witness, gave statement against the accused. After relying on the expert witnesses and other evidences produced before Court, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate held the accused guilty of offences under Section 469, Section 509 IPC and Section 67 of Information Technology Act, 2000.

Link : Link
 

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2003

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 124A: Sedition- Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government estab­lished by law in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine

Name of the Judgement : Nazir Khan and Ors. v. State of Delhi

Citation : Appeal (crl.) 734 of 2003, AIR 2003 SC 4427

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : The appellant belongs to a terrorist group that, during one of their attacks could have resulted in the death of any number of people.

Summary of what was held : Considering the gravity of the offence and the dastardly nature of the acts and consequences which have flown out and would have flown in respect of life sentence incarceration of 20 years would be appropriate.

Held in detail : Considering the gravity of the offence and the dastardly nature of the acts and consequences which have flown out and would have flown in respect of life sentence incarceration of 20 years would be appropriate.

Link : Link
 

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1999

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 120A: Definition of Criminal Conspiracy

Name of the Judgement : Superintendent of Police, CBI/SIT v. Nalini

Citation : (1999) 5 SCC 253

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : On the night of 21.5.1991 a diabolical crime was committed. It stunned the whole nation. Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India, was assassinated by a human bomb. With him 15 persons including 9 policemen perished and 43 suffered grievous or simple injuries. Assassin Dhanu an LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam) activist, who detonated the belt bomb concealed under her waist and Haribabu, a photographer (and also a conspirator) engaged to take photographs of the horrific sight, also died in the blast. As in any crime, criminals leave some footprints. In this case it was a camera which was found intact on the body of Haribabu at the scene of the crime. Film in the camera when developed led to unfolding of the dastardly act committed by the accused and others. A charge of conspiracy for offences under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 (TADA), Indian Penal Code (IPC), Explosive Substances Act, 1908, Arms Act, 1959, Passport Act, 1967, Foreigners Act, 1946, and the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 was laid against 41 persons, 12 of whom were already dead having committed suicide and three absconded.

Summary of what was held : The accused was convicted of offence under Section 120-B of the IPC

Held in detail : The accused was convicted of offence under Section 120-B of the IPC

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1997

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 505: Statements conducing to public mischief & 124A: Sedition

Name of the Judgement : Bilal Ahmed Kaloo vs State Of Andhra Pradesh

Citation : [1997] INSC 646 (6 August 1997)

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : The case against the appellant in short is the following. Appellant was an active member of a militant outfit called Al-Jehad which was formed with the ultimate object of liberating Kashmir from Indian Union. With this in mind appellant spread communal hatred among the Muslim youth in the old city of Hyderabad and exhorted them to undergo training in armed militancy and offered them arms and ammunitions. He himself was in possession of lethal weapons like country-made revolver and live cartridges. He was propagating among the Muslims that in Kashmir Muslims were being were being subjected to attrocities by the Indian Army personnel.

Summary of what was held : Before parting with this judgment, we wish to observe that the manner in which convictions have been recorded for offences under Section 153A, 124A and 505(2), has exhibited a very casual approach of the trial court. Let alone the absence of any evidence which may attract the provisions of the sections, as already observed, even the charges framed against the appellant for these offences did not contain the essential ingredients of the offences under the three sections. The appellant strictly speaking should not have been put to trial for those offences. Mechanical order convicting a citizen for offences of such serious nature like sedition and to promote enmity and hatred etc. does harm to the cause. It is expected that graver the offence, greater should be the care taken so that the liberty of a citizen is not lightly interfered with.

Held in detail : Before parting with this judgment, we wish to observe that the manner in which convictions have been recorded for offences under Section 153A, 124A and 505(2), has exhibited a very casual approach of the trial court. Let alone the absence of any evidence which may attract the provisions of the sections, as already observed, even the charges framed against the appellant for these offences did not contain the essential ingredients of the offences under the three sections. The appellant strictly speaking should not have been put to trial for those offences. Mechanical order convicting a citizen for offences of such serious nature like sedition and to promote enmity and hatred etc. does harm to the cause. It is expected that graver the offence, greater should be the care taken so that the liberty of a citizen is not lightly interfered with.

Link : Link
 

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1996

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 120A: Definition of criminal conspiracy

Name of the Judgement : State of Maharashtra & Ors. v. Som Nath Thapa &Ors

Citation : 1996 AIR 1744, 1996 SCC (4) 659

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : The finale of investigation consisted in charge-sheeting 145 persons (of whom 38 were shown as absconders) under various sections of the Penal Code and the Terrorists And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 (TADA), hereinafter the Act also. The Designated Court constituted under Section 9 of the Act came to be seized of the matter and by its impugned order of 10.9.1995 it has framed charges against 127 persons, discharing at the same time 26. One died and two became approvers. (The total thus comes to 146) Of the charged accused, four: (1) Abu Asim Azmi; (2) Amjad Aziz Me harbaksh; (3) Raju alias Raju Code Jain; and (4) Somnath Thapa have approached this Court having felt aggrieved at their having not been discharged. The State of Maharashtra has approached the Court seeking cancellation of bail granted to appellant Thapa.

Summary of what was held : To conclude, appeals of Abu Asim Azmi and Amjad Aziz Meherbux are allowed and they stand discharged. Appeals of Raju @ Rajucode Jain and Somnath Thapa are dismissed. The appeal of State is also dismissed.

Held in detail : To conclude, appeals of Abu Asim Azmi and Amjad Aziz Meherbux are allowed and they stand discharged. Appeals of Raju @ Rajucode Jain and Somnath Thapa are dismissed. The appeal of State is also dismissed.

Link : Link
 

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1996

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 292: Sale, etc., of obscene book, etc.

Name of the Judgement : Bobby Art International v Om Pal Singh Hoon

Citation : (1996) 4 SCC 1

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : In 1994, Bobby Art International, a film production company, made a film titled “Bandit Queen” which was based on a true story about a village girl who was raped and brutalized, and who subsequently became a member of a violent criminal gang as a means of revenging herself upon society. The film was based on the book about the incident written by Mala Sen. The film contained explicit scenes of rape and nudity. In July 1995, the Censor Board indicated that it would grant the film an “A” certificate (films considered suitable for exhibition restricted to adults only) in terms of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (the Act) but only on the condition that certain scenes were deleted or modified. The Act stated that “a film shall not be certified for public exhibition if, in the opinion of the authority competent to grant the certificate, the film or any part of it is against the interests of, inter alia, decency”. In addition, in 1991 the Indian Government had issued guidelines in terms of the Act which stipulated that film certification must ensure that “artistic expression and creative freedom are not unduly curbed” and that “certification is responsive to social change”. The guidelines also obliged the Censor Board to ensure that “human sensibilities are not offended by vulgarity, obscenity or depravity” and that “scenes involving sexual violence against women like attempt to rape, rape or any form of molestation or scenes of a similar nature are avoided” and should be kept to a minimum if absolutely necessary. As a result of the condition that certain scenes be deleted or amended, the order of the Censor Board was appealed to the Appellate Tribunal (the Tribunal).

Summary of what was held : the Court held that the Tribunal’s classification of the film as “A” was appropriate and that the lower Courts did not adequately consider that the use of nudity and expletives was simply to further the telling of the story. The Court set aside the High Court’s order and reinstated the Tribunal’s “A” classification.

Held in detail : the Court held that the Tribunal’s classification of the film as “A” was appropriate and that the lower Courts did not adequately consider that the use of nudity and expletives was simply to further the telling of the story. The Court set aside the High Court’s order and reinstated the Tribunal’s “A” classification.

Link : Link
 

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1995

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 124A: Sedition- Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government estab­lished by law in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine

Name of the Judgement : Balwant Singh v. State of Punjab

Citation : Appeal (crl.) 266 of 1985

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : The prosecution case against the appellants is that in a crowded in front of the Neelam Cinema, on 31st October 1984, the day Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India was assassinated, after coming out from their respective offices after the duty hours, raised the following slogans Khalistan Zindabad, Raj Karega Khalsa, and Hinduan Nun Punjab Chon Kadh Ke Chhadange, Hun Mauka Aya Hai Raj Kayam Karan Da.

Summary of what was held : 124A is not applicable.

Held in detail : 124A is not applicable.

Link : Link
 

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1994

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 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.

Name of the Judgement : Joseph Bain D'Souza And Another vs State Of Maharashtra And Others

Citation : 1995 (2) BomCR 317, (1995) 97 BOMLR 909, 1995 CriLJ 1316

Court : Bombay High Court
 

Brief Facts : After the demolition of Babri Masjid, riots took place in Bombay. During that time respondent No. 3 Editor and respondent No. 4 Executive Editor of newspaper 'Samna' published editorials which, according to the present petitioners, prima facie fall within the mischief of Sections 153A and 153B of the Code. Though the offences under Sections 153A and 153B of the Code are cognizable offences under the Criminal Procedure Code.

Summary of what was held : Not Provided

Held in detail : Not Provided

Link : Link
 

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1988

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 499: Defamation- Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person 500: Punishment for defamation- Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Name of the Judgement : Jawaharlal Darda v. Manoharrao Ganpatrao Kapsikar

Citation : Not Provided

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : Proceedings of Assembly about misappropriation of government funds were published by a Daily. The complainant whose name was mentioned as one of the persons involved in the misappropriation filed a complainant alleging that he was defamed a a result of the publication.

Summary of what was held : The facts and circumstances of the case disclose that the news items were published for public good, in holding not liable for criminal defamatio

Held in detail : The facts and circumstances of the case disclose that the news items were published for public good, in holding not liable for criminal defamatio

Link : Link
 

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1986

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 120B: Punishment of criminal conspiracy

Name of the Judgement : PARAM HANS YADAV & SADANAND TRIPATHI Vs STATE OF BIHAR & ORS

Citation : 1987 AIR 955

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : The appellants were alleged to have conspired to kill the Collector-cure-District Magistrate. The latter died in a bomb attack by the first accused appellant. He was caught red-handed and when given a beating by eye-witnesses he readily confessed to his guilt, but gave out that he had committed the ghastly murder at the behest of the second appellant, who was at that material time detained in jail. He made a similar confession before the Magistrate. They were both convicted under s.302 read with s. 120B of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced to death. Their sentence was confirmed by the High Court.

Summary of what was held : 1. There was direct evidence of first appellant’s involvement in the crime and he had also confessed to his guilt. There was, therefore, no justification to take a view different from what has been said about him by the High Court. His conviction as also sentence shall stand. [408F-G] 2.1 The prosecution has failed to establish by circum- stantial evidence the complicity of the second appellant in the conspiracy to kill the Collector through the first accused.

Held in detail : 1. There was direct evidence of first appellant’s involvement in the crime and he had also confessed to his guilt. There was, therefore, no justification to take a view different from what has been said about him by the High Court. His conviction as also sentence shall stand. [408F-G] 2.1 The prosecution has failed to establish by circum- stantial evidence the complicity of the second appellant in the conspiracy to kill the Collector through the first accused.

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1983

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 499: Defamation- Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person 500: Punishment for defamation- Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Name of the Judgement : Baburao Shankarrao Chavan vs Shaikh Biban Baban Pahelwan

Citation : Criminal Appeal No. 299 of 1980

Court : Bombay High Court
 

Brief Facts : The facts are very few. On 24-9-1974, the accused sent an application to the Revenue Minister, Maharashtra State, Bombay. Certain statements made in the said application and particularly statements in paragraphs 3, 4 and 6 of the same were, according to the complainant, of a defamatory character, harming the reputation of the complainant. By the said application the accused requested the Hon'ble Revenue Minister, to make appropriate enquiry in relation to the information contained in the said application. By the said application, the accused also requested the Hon'ble Revenue Minister to take appropriate action against the complainant in his jurisdiction as the Revenue Minister. Copies of the said application are also sent to the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, to one of the Members of Parliament, to one of the Members of the Legislative Assembly, as also to the Collector of Nasik and the Income-tax Officer, Nasik. The complainant got information about this application made by the accused and hence on 20-7-1974 he filed the instant complaint out of which the present appeal arises, for suitable action against the accused for the offence under Section 500 of the I.P.C.

Summary of what was held : The order of acquittal was passed by the learned Trial Magistrate is set aside and the accused is convicted under Section 500 of the I.P.C. and is sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000/- and in default to suffer simple imprisonment for a period of three months. The accused is given time till 30th September, 1983 to pay the fine. If the accused does not pay the fine within 30th September, 1983, the police are directed to take the accused in custody and to enforce the the above mentioned order of sentence of three months simple imprisonment in default of payment of the fine

Held in detail : The order of acquittal was passed by the learned Trial Magistrate is set aside and the accused is convicted under Section 500 of the I.P.C. and is sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000/- and in default to suffer simple imprisonment for a period of three months. The accused is given time till 30th September, 1983 to pay the fine. If the accused does not pay the fine within 30th September, 1983, the police are directed to take the accused in custody and to enforce the the above mentioned order of sentence of three months simple imprisonment in default of payment of the fine

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1980

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 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.

Name of the Judgement : Azizul Haq Kausar Naquvi And Anr. vs The State

Citation : AIR 1980 All 149

Court : Allahabad High Court
 

Brief Facts : the order of forfeiture was passed by the State Government on the ostensible ground that the book severely criticised the role of Amir Mauviya who, in the opinion of the State Government, is held in high esteem by the Sunni Muslims. 3. The language employed in the book in its opinion, was likely to hurt the feelings of that sect and was calculated to lead to greater misunderstanding between the Shia Muslims and the Sunni Muslims and was thus prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony and goodwill between the members of the two sects, and in consequence was likely to disturb public peace and tranquility. The State Government was further of the opinion that the publication of the said work was an offence punishable under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code. 4. Azizul Haq Kausar Naqvi, the first applicant, is the author of the book and Inamul Haq Kadri is one of its publishers. Both of them have claimed that they themselves belong to the Sunni sect and that the book referred to above does not contain any material which is likely to promote feelings of ill-will between the Sunnis and the Shias.

Summary of what was held : Not Provided

Held in detail : Not Provided

Link : Link
 

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1980

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 295A: Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.

Name of the Judgement : Shalibhadra Shah And Ors. vs Swami Krishna Bharati

Citation : 1981 CriLJ 113

Court : Gujrat High Court
 

Brief Facts : The petitioner in both these applications is the editor, printer and publisher of a Gujarati Weekly "AASPASS". In the issue of 31st July, 1977, of his Weekly, an article appeared under the caption "why Acharya Rajnishji leaves Pune?" which contained remarks concerning the said religious leader which are stated to be of a scurrilous and defamatory nature, Respondent No. 1 in both the petitions are the devotees of the said Acharya Rajnishji whom they worship as Bhagwan (God). Respondent No. 1 of Miscellaneous Criminal Application No. 786 of 1978, filed a private complaint in the Court of the learned Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Karjan, alleging that the petitioner had by publishing the said article in his Weekly committed offences punishable under Sections 295A and 298 of the Indian Penal Code. Respondent No. 1 of the other Miscellaneous Criminal Application filed a similar complaint No. 425 of 1978 in the Court of the learned Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Baroda, (Fourth Court) alleging that the petitioner had committed offences punishable under Sections 295A and 298 of the Indian Penal Code. The learned Magistrates before whom these two complaints were filed, issued process against the petitioner of the present two applications for the commission of offences punishable under the aforesaid two provisions of the Indian Penal Code. The petitioner, has therefore, filed the present two petitions for quashing the process issued against him in the aforesaid two criminal proceedings. The process is sought to be quashed on two grounds, namely, (1) that the prosecution for the offence under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code could not be commenced without a prior sanction from the Government under Section 196(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; and (2) that the prosecution in respect of the offence under Section 298 of the Indian Penal Code is bad in law inasmuch as it does not apply to any written article appearing in a Weekly but merely applies to wounding of religious feelings by utterance of oral words, making of any sound in the hearing of that person, making a gesture in the sight of that person or placing any object in the sight of that person. We will deal with these two submissions made by the petitioner in the order in which we have set them out.

Summary of what was held : In the result, therefore, both these applications are allowed. The process issued by the concerned learned Magistrates in respect of these two applications for the commission of offences punishable under Sections 295A and 298 of the Indian Penal Code must, therefore, be quashed. The rule is made absolute accordingly. The two complaints shall therefore, stand dismissed

Held in detail : In the result, therefore, both these applications are allowed. The process issued by the concerned learned Magistrates in respect of these two applications for the commission of offences punishable under Sections 295A and 298 of the Indian Penal Code must, therefore, be quashed. The rule is made absolute accordingly. The two complaints shall therefore, stand dismissed

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1971

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 124A: Sedition- Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government estab­lished by law in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine

Name of the Judgement : Manubhai Tribhovandas Patel and v. State Of Gujarat

Citation : 1972 CriLJ 388

Court : Gujarat High Court
 

Brief Facts : The book captioned "Mao Tse Tungmanthi Avatarano" printed by Shri Purushottam Murlidhar Brahmbhatt. Jayashri Mudrana, published by Shri Manubhai Tribhovandas Patel. Secretary. Shri Dinkar Mehta Shasti Pootri Lokayat Jnankendra Trust. Contains views of Mao Tse Tung which are full of hatred and contempt for all persons who do not subscribe to the communist ideology and also contains Mao-Tse Tung's advice on how to overthrow a non-communist Government by violent revolution and how to establish a communist Government by resort to armed revolution.

Summary of what was held : This book contains passages extracted from the speeches delivered at different times by Mao-Tse-Tune who is the acknowledged leader of Chinese Communist thought and at ore-sent the Chairman of the Peonies Republic of China. The Government of Gujarat, by an order dated 16th June. 1971 made in exercise of the power conferred under Section 99-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure declared every copy of this book to be forfeited to Government on the ground that it contained seditious matter, the publication of which is punishable under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code.

Held in detail : This book contains passages extracted from the speeches delivered at different times by Mao-Tse-Tune who is the acknowledged leader of Chinese Communist thought and at ore-sent the Chairman of the Peonies Republic of China. The Government of Gujarat, by an order dated 16th June. 1971 made in exercise of the power conferred under Section 99-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure declared every copy of this book to be forfeited to Government on the ground that it contained seditious matter, the publication of which is punishable under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code.

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1969

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 292: Sale, etc., of obscene book, etc.

Name of the Judgement : Chandrakant Kalyandas Kakodar vs The State Of Maharashtra And Ors.

Citation : 1970 AIR 1390

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : The appellant is the author of a short story entitled Shama published in the 1962 Diwali Issue of Rambha, a monthly Marathi Magazine, which story is said to be obscene. Criminal proceedings were, therefore, initiated before the first class Magistrate, Poona by the complainant Bhide under s. 292 I.P.C. against the Printer and Publisher accused 1, the writer of the story accused 2 and the selling agent accused 3. The complainant stated that he had read the aforesaid Diwali issue of Rambha and found many articles and pictures in it to be obscene which are calculated to corrupt and deprave the minds of the readers in general and the young readers in particular.The allegation, against the accused is that certain passages in the story of Shama at pp. 111-112, 114, 116, 118-121, 127, 128, 131, and 134 are said to be obscene

Summary of what was held : It is the duty of the Court to consider the article, story or book by taking an overall view o the entire work and to determine whether the obscene passages are so likely to deprave and corrupt those whose mind are open to such influences and in whose hands the book is likely to fall; and in doing so the influence of the book on the social morality of our contemporary society cannot be overlooked. Even so as the question of obscenity may have to be judged in the light of the claim that the work has a predominant literary merit, it may be necessary if it is at all required, to rely to a certain extent on the evidence and views of leading litterateurs on that aspect.To insist that the standard would always be for the writer to see that the adolescent ought not to be brought into contact with sex or that if they read any references to sex in what is written, whether that is the dominant theme or not, they would be affected, would be to require the authors to write books only for the adolescent and not for the adults What has to be seen is that whether a class, not an isolated case, into whose hands the book, article or story falls suffer in their moral outlook or become depraved by reading it or might have impure or lecherous thoughts arouse in their minds. The charge of obscenity must, therefore, be judged from this aspect.

Held in detail : It is the duty of the Court to consider the article, story or book by taking an overall view o the entire work and to determine whether the obscene passages are so likely to deprave and corrupt those whose mind are open to such influences and in whose hands the book is likely to fall; and in doing so the influence of the book on the social morality of our contemporary society cannot be overlooked. Even so as the question of obscenity may have to be judged in the light of the claim that the work has a predominant literary merit, it may be necessary if it is at all required, to rely to a certain extent on the evidence and views of leading litterateurs on that aspect.To insist that the standard would always be for the writer to see that the adolescent ought not to be brought into contact with sex or that if they read any references to sex in what is written, whether that is the dominant theme or not, they would be affected, would be to require the authors to write books only for the adolescent and not for the adults What has to be seen is that whether a class, not an isolated case, into whose hands the book, article or story falls suffer in their moral outlook or become depraved by reading it or might have impure or lecherous thoughts arouse in their minds. The charge of obscenity must, therefore, be judged from this aspect.

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1968

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 499: Defamation- Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person 500: Punishment for defamation- Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Name of the Judgement : Sunilakhya v. HM Jadvet

Citation : AIR 1968 Cal 266

Court : Calcutta High Court
 

Brief Facts : On the 14th May 1965 in the issue of the "Darpan" a Bengali weekly published In Calcutta, an editorial article was published containing an alleged defamatory imputation against the complainant firm, viz., R. Akoji Jadwet and Company This weekly used to be printed at a press owned by a Limited company, viz., the Metropolitan Printing and Publishing House(P) Ltd. and at the relevant time, the present petitioner, Sunilakhya Chowdhury, was one of the Directors of the Company. The accused petitioner was neither the maker, that is the author nor the printer nor the publisher of the impugned publication and has been prosecuted as he is a director of the Company which owns the Press and which did the job of printing the said journal. The opposite party No. 2, Hiren Basu, is the Editor Publisher, Printer and the owner of the said Bengali journal as per the declaration under Rule 3 of the Press and Registration Act.

Summary of what was held : In this case the press belonged to the company at Calcutta and it had merely done the job of printing in the ordinary course of day-today business.

Held in detail : In this case the press belonged to the company at Calcutta and it had merely done the job of printing in the ordinary course of day-today business.

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1965

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 292: Sale, etc., of obscene book, etc.

Name of the Judgement : Ranjit Udeshi v State of Maharashtra

Citation : 1965 AIR 881

Court : Supreme Court
 

Brief Facts : Ranjit D. Udeshi was one of the four partners of a firm that owned a book-stall. The partners were prosecuted under section 292 of the IPC for selling copies of an allegedly obscene book, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by DH Lawrence. Section 292 punishes any person who sells any obscene book or other material. Udeshi argued that section 292 is violative of the rights to freedom of speech and expression under article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution and that the book is not obscene if considered as a whole.

Summary of what was held : The Court examined the text of Lady Chatterley’s Lover and concluded that it was obscene under Hicklin. The appeal against conviction was thus dismissed.

Held in detail : The Court examined the text of Lady Chatterley’s Lover and concluded that it was obscene under Hicklin. The appeal against conviction was thus dismissed.

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1962

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 120-A Definition of criminal conspiracy

Name of the Judgement : Major E.G. Barsay v. State of Bombay

Citation : (1962) 2 SCR 195

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : The accused were charged with having conspired to do three categories of illegal acts.

Summary of what was held : The mere fact that all of them could not be convicted separately in respect of each of the offences has no relevancy in considering the question whether the offence of conspiracy has been committed. They are all guilty of the offence of conspiracy to do illegal acts, though for individual offences all of them may not be liable

Held in detail : The mere fact that all of them could not be convicted separately in respect of each of the offences has no relevancy in considering the question whether the offence of conspiracy has been committed. They are all guilty of the offence of conspiracy to do illegal acts, though for individual offences all of them may not be liable

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1962

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 124A: Sedition- Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government estab­lished by law in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine

Name of the Judgement : Kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar

Citation : 1962 AIR 955

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : The Court was hearing four appeals - three of conviction of the Petitioners of sedition committed in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and a fourth against the judgement of a Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court holding Section 124A ultra vires of the Constitution vis-a-vis Article 19.

Summary of what was held : 5-member Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India unanimously upheld the constitutional validity of Section 124A, IPC

Held in detail : 5-member Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India unanimously upheld the constitutional validity of Section 124A, IPC

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1959

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 124A: Sedition- Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government estab­lished by law in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine

Name of the Judgement : Ram Nandan v. State of Uttar Pradesh

Citation : AIR 1959 All 101

Court : Allahabad High Court
 

Brief Facts : This is an appeal from a judgment of the Sessions Judge, Basti, convicting the appellant under Section 124-A, I. P. C., and sentencing him to imprisonment for three years. On 29-5-1954, he delivered a speech to an audience of about 200 persons, mostly villagers. The gist of his speech was this : Mothers and sisters were obliged to sell their honour in order to support themselves. Labourers were obliged to beg. Thousands of cultivators and labourers were famishing for want of food. School fees and railway fares were increased two-times and four-times so that cultivators may not remain happy, In the Congress regime thousands of Sitas were being abducted and women were turning into prostitutes for the sake of food and clothing. Taxes were being imposed on deaths and births. Cultivators' and labourer's blood was being sucked through foreign capitalists. Labourers of U. P. had now organized themselves. Now they will not beg for pity but will take up cudgels and surround the ministry and warn it that if it did not concede their demands it would be overthrown.

Summary of what was held : the Court quoted Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, who while introducing the first Constitution of India (Amendment) Bill 1951, referred to sedition and stated: ‘…The sooner we get rid of it, the better.’

Held in detail : the Court quoted Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, who while introducing the first Constitution of India (Amendment) Bill 1951, referred to sedition and stated: ‘…The sooner we get rid of it, the better.’

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1957

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 171G: False statement in connection with an election

Name of the Judgement : V.P. Shanmugam And Anr. vs Thangavelu

Citation : Crl. R.C. No. 323 of 1957 & Crl. R.P. No. 317 1957

Court : Madras High Court
 

Brief Facts : The first respondent before us Thangavelu stood for election to the Madras Legislative Assembly in the recent general elections. He was the nominee of the Praja Socialist Party supported by the Communist Party, and was being opposed by a Congress Party candidate. In, these circumstances a printed notice was published and circulated by the revision petitioners before us. That notice contained a series of rhetorical questions whether it was true or not that this Tuangavelu used to receive money and withdraw from contest in elections. Beyond these rhetorical questions no particulars are mentioned which would enable this Thangavelu to refute them. In fact this Than-gaveled in his evidence as P.W. 1 in the lower court has categorically denied all those allegations and has given adequate explanations for his withdrawals at the end.

Summary of what was held : Therefore the conclusion of the learned Magistrate that the allegations on which the complaint is now confined cannot be construed as a, statement of facts, is correct.

Held in detail : Therefore the conclusion of the learned Magistrate that the allegations on which the complaint is now confined cannot be construed as a, statement of facts, is correct.

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1953

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 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.

Name of the Judgement : Debi Soren and Ors v. The State

Citation : 1954 (2) BLJR 99

Court : Patna High Court
 

Brief Facts : 3. Very shortly put, the case against these three appellants was the following. There was an annual conference of the Bhagalpur Adibasi Mahasava at a place called Lakhikundi in the district of the Santal Parganas, on the dates 24th 25th and 26th of March 1949. Debi Soren presided over the conference. He and the other two appellants, Mrs. Hanna Bodra and Yunus Soren, were the principal speakers. The prosecution case was that on two dates, 25th and 26th of March 1949, the appellants made speeches at the conference which brought or attempted to bring into hatred or contempt and excited or attempted to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India. Against two of the appellants, Mrs. Hanna Bodra and Yunus Soren it was further alleged that by the speeches which they delivered they promoted or attempted to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes of the citizens of India. In the charge framed against the appellants certain extracts from their speeches were quoted. It was alleged that Debi Soren made the following statements in his speeches: Government want to suppress and oppress us. It is a matter of shame for the Bihar Government. . The Government does not want to see us developing in business. This clearly shows Zulum on us. The Government has promulgated Bihar Maintenance of Public Order Act on us with a view to suppress us. The Government have Drought false allegations against our Secretary, Kamlu Kinkai, that they have been instigating Adibasis against non-Adibasis. Bihar Government has done many such things in the Damin tract to repress us.... We should not believe the Bihar Government.

Summary of what was held : The court held that none of the speeches come within the mischief of Section 124A or Section 153A, Penal Code - whether a narrow or wider interpretation of the provisions of those sections be taken. The appeal must, therefore, be allowed; the convictions and sentences are set aside, and the appellants are acquitted.

Held in detail : The court held that none of the speeches come within the mischief of Section 124A or Section 153A, Penal Code - whether a narrow or wider interpretation of the provisions of those sections be taken. The appeal must, therefore, be allowed; the convictions and sentences are set aside, and the appellants are acquitted.

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1952

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 298: Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person.

Name of the Judgement : Narayan Das and Anr. v. State

Citation : AIR 1952 Ori 149.

Court : Orissa High Court
 

Brief Facts : Petitioner No. 1 Narayan Das alias Madhusudan Das Babaji came to village Saradhapur in Bonai State, proclaimed himself to be the living God 'Anantakishore', called upon the villagers to worship him & succeeded in gathering a number of disciples around him who believe in his divinity. There was a girl named Bhanumati aged about fifteen years (P. W. 7.) daughter of one Rajib Lochan Mohanti of the village, The Babaji somehow induced a belief in the girl as well as in her father & some of the co-villagers that she was 'Anantakishori' and that none else but he was fit to wed her. In consequence of this belief the girl was in due course given in marriage to him by her father and for sometime the Babaji and his wife were looked upon as living God and Goddess. On the 17th of July 1950 which was the Ratha Jatra day some of the disciples of the Babaji placed him and his wife on a Bath and dragged it through the village. Some of the other villagers however on that day wanted to go to Bonaigarh to see the Rath Jatra of Lord Jagannath that was being celebrated there. The Babaji was said to have dissuaded them from going to Bonaigarh by saying that Jagannath was after all a piece of wood where as he (Babaji) was living God 'Nararupi Narayan' & that he should be worshipped. Petitioner No. 2 Dhaneswar Mahato who is said to be fantical disciple of the Babaji tried to re-enforce the argument of the Babaji by saying that the village Goddess 'Gramadevi" and the deity known as Baneswar were mere stone idols and that Dhaneswar could pass urine on them. 3. On these allegations the Babaji was prosecuted for three offences; firstly, for the offence of cheating under Section 417, I. P. C.; secondly, for the offence under Section 153, I. P. C. for organising Rath Jatra without a license and thirdly, for the offence under Section 298

Summary of what was held : Not Provided

Held in detail : Not Provided

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1950

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 124A: Sedition- Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government estab­lished by law in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.

Name of the Judgement : Romesh Thapar v. State of Bihar

Citation : 1950 AIR 124

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : The petitioner was the printer, publisher and editor of a recently started weekly General in English called Cross Roads, printed and published in Bombay. The State government prohibited the circulation of the newspapers.

Summary of what was held : The application was allowed and the order of the respondents prohibiting the entry and circulation of the petitioner's journal is hereby quashed

Held in detail : The application was allowed and the order of the respondents prohibiting the entry and circulation of the petitioner's journal is hereby quashed

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1950

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 124A: Sedition- Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government estab­lished by law in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.

Name of the Judgement : Brij Bhushan v. State

Citation : 1950 AIR 129

Court : Supreme Court of India
 

Brief Facts : This is an application under arti- cle 32 of the Constitution praying for the issue of writs of certiorari and prohibition to the respondent, the Chief Commissioner of Delhi, with a view to examine the legality of and quash the order made by him in regard to an English weekly of Delhi called the Organizer of which the first applicant is the printer and publisher, and the second is the editor. On 2nd March, 1950, the respondent, in exercise of powers conferred on him by section 7 (1) (c) of the East Punjab Public Safety Act, 1949, which has been extended to the Delhi Province and is hereinafter referred to as the impugned Act, issued the following order: "Whereas the Chief Commissioner, Delhi, is satisfied that Organizer, an English weekly of Delhi, has been pub- lishing highly objectionable matter constituting a threat to public law and order and that action as is hereinafter mentioned is necessary for the purpose of preventing or combating activities prejudicial to the public safety or the maintenance of public order.

Summary of what was held : The petitioners application was dismissed

Held in detail : The petitioners application was dismissed

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1950

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 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.

Name of the Judgement : Tara Singh Gopi Chand vs The State

Citation : 1951 CriLJ 449

Court : Punjab-Haryana High Court
 

Brief Facts : The prosecution relate each to a speech delivered by Master Tara Singh, one in July 1950 at Shahabad in the Karnal District and the other in August 1950 at Ludhiana. The prosecution in each instance was under Section 124A and 153A, Penal Code and Section 24 (a), Bast Punjab Public Safety Act.

Summary of what was held : Not Provided

Held in detail : Not Provided

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1897

 
 
Act : Indian Penal Code, 1860

Name of the provision : 124A: Sedition- Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government estab­lished by law in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with impris­onment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.

Name of the Judgement : Queen Empress Vs. Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Citation : (1917) 19 BOMLR 211

Court : Bombay High Court
 

Brief Facts : Tilak was accused of sedition for publishing an article in the newspaper about the Maratha warrior Shivaji encouraging his move against the British Government. Interpretation of ‘disaffection’ was given through this case.

Summary of what was held : Bal Gangadhar Tilak was convicted under this Section and sent to Mandalay, Burma from 1908 to 1914 for defending the Indian revolutionaries and calling for immediate Swaraj or self-rule in his newspaper ‘Kesari’

Held in detail : Bal Gangadhar Tilak was convicted under this Section and sent to Mandalay, Burma from 1908 to 1914 for defending the Indian revolutionaries and calling for immediate Swaraj or self-rule in his newspaper ‘Kesari’

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