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Opinion

Allahabad HC cancels FIR comment on UP ‘jungle raj’

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The Allahabad High Court struck down a First Information Report (FIR) filed against a Twitter user who allegedly commented that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had transformed the state administration into the “Raj of the jungle.”

“Expressing dissent on the situation of law and order in the state is a hallmark of a constitutional liberal democracy like ours and it is constitutionally protected by Article 19 of the Constitution (right to freedom of expression)”, the court said in its order. ,which was approved on November 23.

A division bank made up of Judge Pankaj Naqvi and Judge Vivek Agarwal accepted a court petition filed by Yashwant Singh, who allegedly made the comments against UP CM on his Twitter account. Annulled a FIR dated August 2, filed against the petitioner under Section 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66-D (offense of deception by impersonation through the use of computer resources) of the Act Information Technology Conference at the Bhognipur Police Station. in the Rama Bai Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh.

The FIR alleged that Singh used his Twitter username to comment that the state’s prime minister had transformed the state into a “raj of the jungle.” He also referred to kidnappings, ransom demands and killings, the FIR said.

The petitioner challenged the FIR, claiming that it had been within his constitutional right to freedom of expression under article 19. Mere dissent does not amount to criminality and the FIR has come forward only to coerce him to stop expressing dissent. against the state government. argued the petitioner.

Annulling the FIR and the consequent process against the petitioner, the court said: “After analyzing the previous provisions regarding the complaints made in the FIR, we did not even remotely find a commission of crime under Section 66-D, as stated refers to said provision. to cheat by impersonation. It is not the case of prosecution that while committing the overt act, the petitioner tweeted using the Twitter identifier of another person … No offense is established under Section 66-D of the TI Act. As far as IPC Section 500 (libel) is concerned, the same is not done either, as the alleged tweet cannot be said to be included in the libel prank. “

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