करंट टॉपिक्स

MP High Court refuses to quash FIR against singer Neha Singh Rathore

Spread the love

Adding a particular dress in the cartoon cannot be a satire; High Court questions use of RSS shorts in cartoon

Bhopal/Jabalpur. Jabalpur Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court refused to quash the criminal case registered against Bhojpuri singer Neha Singh Rathore over a tweet related to a viral video in which a man was seen urinating on a tribal labourer in Seedhi.

Justice GS Ahluwalia questioned why Rathore had added the dress of a “particular ideology” – referring to Khaki shorts of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – in the cartoon posted on social media when the person accused of urinating on the member of reserved category had not worn the same dress.

“Since the cartoon which was uploaded by the applicant on her Twitter and Instagram account was not in accordance with the incident which had taken place and certain additional things were added by the applicant on her own, this Court is of considered opinion that it cannot be said that the applicant had uploaded the cartoon by exercising her fundamental right of free speech and expression,” the Court said.

Although an artist must have the liberty to criticize through satire but adding a particular dress in the cartoon cannot be said to be a satire.

“Although an artist must have the liberty to criticize through satire but adding a particular dress in the cartoon cannot be said to be a satire. The attempt of the applicant was to involve a group of particular ideology without any basis. Therefore, it would not come within the purview of Article 19(1)(a) of Constitution of India and even a satirical expression may be prohibited under Article 19(2) of Constitution of India,” it said.

The Uttar Pradesh-based folk singer was booked under Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) last year after she had posted the cartoon showing a person is a semi-naked condition peeing on another person sitting on the floor.

The counsel for Rathore sought quashing of the FIR and argued that no offence under Section 153A of IPC was made out.

However, the State opposed the plea and argued that the incident had escalated tension.

In the order dated May 15, the Court recorded that it had asked the counsel representing Rathore to clarify whether Shukla was wearing the same dress as shown in the cartoon.

“It was fairly conceded by counsel for applicant that the cartoon which has been uploaded by the applicant was not in accordance with the actual incident and certain dress was included which the accused was not wearing at the time of incident,” the Court noted.

Observing that the question of why the particular dress was added by Rathore in the cartoon is to be decided in the trial, the Court said.

“The addition of a particular dress was indicative of the fact that applicant wanted to communicate that the offence was committed by a person belonging to a particular ideology. Thus, it was a clear case of making an attempt to disrupt harmony and to provoke the feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *