The Bombay High court said that nowadays whatever is against the ruling government is considered sedition. Even in routine cases of 498A, when there is a possibility of compromise, then we have granted protection.
By: Anish Khondo, 5th-year law Student, Christ (Deemed to be) University, Bangalore.
The applicant Kangana Ranaut, a well-established actor, and her sister Rangoli Chandel were charged with sedition and an FIR was filed by the Mumbai Police over alleged hateful comments on social media.
Justices S.S. Shinde and M.S. Karnik were hearing the plea filed by the Mumbai police to quash the FIR filed against the two sisters.
The court granted interim protection to KanganaRanaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel until the 8th of January 2021. Further, the learned bench gave instructions to the applicants making a statement that the applicants will appear before the Investigating Officer from Bandra Police Station, who is investigating into MECR No.3/2020 under Sections 153A, 295A, 124A read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, on the 8th of January 2021.
The applicants were charged with section Sections 153A, 295A(Prevention of Atrocities), and 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Court further inquired the police what was the purpose of adding Section 124 A to the FIR while stating its concern over the citizen and said that “It has become a trend to add 124A IPC (sedition) in the complaint. What is the need? Are we treating our citizens like this?”
Further, the court inquired from Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee on why the summons was not answered by the applicants. In response to this, the court noted that the applicants will appear before the Mumbai Police on 8 January 2020 and also that they will not make any further statements about the subject matter of the FIR under challenge. The court noted that “the applicants will not make any comment on the social media/ electronic media. Statement accepted.”
Lastly, the court noted that the statements made by Mr. Merchant the learned counsel appearing for the 2nd respondent submitted that the petition did not contain signatures of the petitioners and the court concluded that further hearing of the plea will be heard on merits on 11th January 2021.