HC Refuses To Quash Criminal Proceedings Against UP Scribe Over Social Media Post

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Tuesday refused to quash criminal proceedings against a journalist for allegedly sharing incorrect facts information on social media.

Dismissing Manish Kumar Pandey’s plea, a bench of Justice Shamim Ahmad observed, “On account of sharing of incorrect facts on Twitter handles, there was a chance of violation of public peace and tranquillity in society.”

Moving the petition, the applicant had challenged the charge sheet and criminal proceedings launched in pursuance of an FIR registered against him with the Hazratganj police station on August 21, 2020. In his tweet, he had shared a post which allegedly used a forged letterpad of BJP MLA Deomani Dwivedi (Lambhua in Sultanpur district)

It was alleged in the post that the MLA was demanding from the additional chief secretary (home) information about criminal cases registered against various political persons.

The police had filed a charge sheet against Pandey.

Declining to accept Pandey’s plea, the bench observed, “The intention of the scribe was just to defame the image of the present government in the State and to create communal terror which is direct attack to disturb the peace and harmony of the State.

“No one can be given the licence to disturb the peace and tranquillity of society,” it said.

The bench further added that there is already machinery to look after the law and order of the state, even though from the action of the applicant it appears that his intention was not fair and wants to disturb the peace.

It said the charge-sheet has been filed after due investigation and concerned magistrate took cognisance of the charge sheet which reflects that a cognizable offence is made out against the applicant.

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