VINOD DUA GETS RELIEF AS SUPREME COURT QUASHES SEDITION CHARGES


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“Every journalist entitled to protection under Kedar Nath judgment:” Supreme Court quashes sedition case against journalist Vinod Dua .
The verdict was delivered by a Bench of Justices UU Lalit and Vineet Saran. ‘’We have quashed the proceedings and FIR. Every journalist will be entitled to the protection under Kedar Nath Singh (sedition) judgement,’’ the court ordered .
Section 124A of the IPC reads as “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.”
Dua was accused of having made certain statements on his YouTube program, ‘Vinod Dua show’ on march 30. Dua was also charged for offences under the Disaster Management Act including spreading of misinformation and false claims . Dua was charged under sections 124A (sedition), 268 (public nuisance), 501 (printing matter known to be defamatory) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief) on the basis of a complaint by BJP’s Mahasu unit president Ajay Shyam. The complainant had alleged that the journalist accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using “deaths and terror attacks” to get votes. The senior journalist went to the Supreme Court against the FIR and sought “exemplary damages for harassment”.
The judges said “every journalist will be entitled to the protection under the Kedar Nath Singh judgment on sedition,”
“We have rejected the committee formation prayer since it will be directly encroaching upon the legislative domain. However, the FIR against Vinod Dua stands quashed,” the Court said. The Delhi police had also registered an FIR against Dua on June 4 for his March 30 video. That FIR was, however, stayed by the Delhi high court on June 10. On the issue of protection of freedom of speech and expression of media personnel, it said, “Every journalist is entitled to protection under the Kedar Nath Singh judgment (the famous verdict of 1962 on the scope and ambit of offence of sedition in the IPC).”
CHITRANGADA SINGH DHONI
LUCKNOW UNIVERSITY


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Manish Tiwari

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