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No Coercive Action Against Kangana Ranaut Over 'Khalistan' Remark Till January 25: Mumbai Police To Bombay High Court

Sharmeen Hakim
13 Dec 2021 8:06 AM GMT
No Coercive Action Against Kangana Ranaut Over Khalistan Remark Till January 25: Mumbai Police To Bombay High Court
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The Mumbai Police on Monday told the Bombay High Court that it will not take any coercive action against actress Kangana Ranaut till January 25, in the FIR registered against her for her Instagram posts about the Sikh community and Khalistani movement, after the Prime Minister's announcement to repeal farm laws. A division bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and Sarang Kotwal also...

The Mumbai Police on Monday told the Bombay High Court that it will not take any coercive action against actress Kangana Ranaut till January 25, in the FIR registered against her for her Instagram posts about the Sikh community and Khalistani movement, after the Prime Minister's announcement to repeal farm laws.

A division bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and Sarang Kotwal also recorded Kangana's undertaking that she will appear before the Khar police to record her statement, in compliance with a notice served upon her under Section 41 of the CrPC.

The bench was hearing Kangana's petition filed under Section 482 CrPC seeking quashing of the FIR registered against her u/s 295A IPC for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of the Sikh community.

During the hearing on Monday, the police agreed not to take coercive steps against Kangana after the court said it was considering granting interim protection to her. "Freedom of speech should not be affected… that would have a chilling effect," Justice Jamdar said orally.

At the beginning of the hearing, Kangana's lawyer Ankita Chatterjee submitted that ingredients of section 295A were not made out against her client in the absence of mens rea, public disorder, and a deliberate intent to hurt religious beliefs.

Justice Jamdar asked Chief Public Prosecutor Aruna Pai representing Mumbai Police to show how ingredients of section 295A of the IPC were made out against Ranaut.

"Where is the 'deliberate intent' in the post? It has to be the sole and dominant object to hurt religious beliefs. The object of the section is that there should be a sole intention and not a fallout… that it could have been written better, is different," Justice Jamdar observed.

On November 23, the Khar Police booked Kangana under section 295A IPC relating to outraging of religious feelings based on a complaint by members of the Sikh community.

The complainants alleged that in her Instagram post, Ranaut drew parallels between protesting farmers and Khalistanis. She claimed that Khalistanis were "arm-twisting" the government and pointed out that the former prime minister Indira Gandhi had crushed them like mosquitoes.

The complaint said that Ranaut has labelled all farmers as Khalistani terrorists, and by bringing in 1984 riots she has hurt the religious sentiments of the community. Hence the FIR.

Ranaut's petition under section 482 of the CrPC states that the FIR is registered to "maliciously prosecute" her for exercising her "fundamental right" of freedom of speech.

The petition states that the offences are not made out against her and that she had merely exercised her fundamental rights to condemn the banned terror outfit.

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