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‘Expressing Dissent Hallmark of Democracy’: Allahabad High Court Quashes FIR for Tweets Against UP CM [READ ORDER]

The Allahabad High Court quashed the FIR for tweets against the UP Chief minister in the case of Yashwant Singh v. State of UP & Ors.

By: Megha Ravindran, BBA LLB, Nehru Academy of Law.

Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal remarked that only expressing disagreement against the affairs of the State is not a criminal offence.

Brief of the case

A writ petition was filed by Yashwant Singh, who had made certain remarks against UP CM through his twitter account. He tweeted that the Chief Minister of UP, Yogi Adityanath, has turned UP into a ‘jungleraj’, where law and order have no prevalence. He also referred to incidents of abduction, demand of ransom and murders that rampantly taken place in the State.

An FIR was filed against him, charged under Section 500 of IPC and 66D of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008. He therefore filed a writ petition and also submitted that the right to dissent is a fundamental right which has been enshrined under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.

Observation of the court

Court observed that they did not find even a remote commission of offence done under Section 66-D of IT Act. The bench also said that the offence was not made out under Section 500 of IPC and the alleged tweet could not fall within the mischief of defamation. The Court expressed that right to dissent is a constitutionally protected right under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.

Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal remarked that “Expressing dissent on law and order situation in the State, is a hallmark of a constitutional liberal democracy like ours, constitutionally protected under Article 19 of the Constitution”.

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